Into the Book

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It’s November 7th, and we’re officially into one week of NaNoWriMo. I’m reminded (again) just how ridiculous the assignment is: to write a full-length novel over the course of November. And I even cheated, by starting with about 10,000 words of pre-written draft. So how’s it going?

Well, it’s going. As of this writing (before I write November 7th’s assignment), the draft of All Right stands at 20,568 words. That’s about 40% of the way into the draft, which seems really good, right?

The task:

That’s still 1,226 words per day — a miniscule drop off my initial assignment of 1,293 words per day — itself still much easier than the official 1,667 assignment that most people are following. Starting with a 10,000 word head start has helped, but I’ve mostly just kept pace so far — a slower pace that’s not even as hard as it could be.

The plot:

…Has changed quite a bit. I’ve had a few breakthrough sessions where I’ve bulldozed through sticking points. Thanks to Elizabeth Allen, as well as my wife Alisha, for putting up with incoherent rambles. And we’re only a week into this! Isn’t November fun?

So far, I’ve twisted two major elements of the plot from the initial outline. I’ve turned an unlikable, villainous throwaway character into a sympathetic secondary character (we’ll have to have an entire post on Madisyn soon). I’ve tormented my main character with nightmares and psychological stress. And yes, the story does have a happy ending — eventually.

There have been a very few times where I’ve been writing and the best idea has come to me in a flash. One happened just last night, the other a few days ago. Can’t tell you what the scenes are, but they’re good, y’all! That’s a good thing, because who knows when another brilliant twist will come along that propels me for another 5,000 words.

The future:

I feel better about the book going into week 2 than I did going into week 1. For one thing, actually writing has really helped me to get a grip on some of these characters. For another thing, plot changes and updates are so much easier when you’re swimming in the novel day in and day out.

Most importantly, running NaNo this year has helped remind me that writing is still something I can do. For the last two years, that wasn’t something I’d admit (In fact, it’s going so well I’m even pondering a JanNoWriMo to kick another long-dormant draft into action). It’s  been great to write daily, to stretch creative muscles, and to remind myself why I love doing this.

Published on 7 November, 2018. Last updated on

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