Three weeks down. 8 days to go. My word count is currently 51,328, which means… I have achieved the 50,000 word goal!!! Yay! I officially crossed the 50K mark on Wednesday. However, this doesn’t mean I’m done. I think I’m close. I have to wrap up this scene I’ve been working on for days and it just keeps getting longer. After that I may have some “pick up” chapters to write if I think of any holes that need filling.
I’m really excited to get the main story tied up so I can go back and read through what I’ve written. Aside from a paragraph or page here and there to refresh my memory at the beginning of a writing session, I haven’t read through what I have. NaNo really encourages its writers to just keep going no matter what and ignore our inner editors (for now). This doesn’t leave much room for going back to read. I think this has been good thing. In some of my previous dabbles in writing, I find myself going back to read and getting bogged down in tweaking words and revisions. Meanwhile the story gets neglected. This time I’ve been able to keep going and for once I’m almost done!
This week I’ve come to realize I have created an unexpected set of challenges for myself. My novel is a Sci-Fi story, as yet unnamed. It is set in a distant future. I have a very specific vision for the world of my novel, but that vision creates some fascinating challenges. The first is that, visually, it isn’t a very interesting world. It is monotonous and repetitive. It is very hard, I’ve learned, to keep setting and description interesting when every single building is identical to the one next to it. The other challenge is that though this is in many ways an “advanced” society, their world is stripped of much that makes our world interesting. This makes descriptive language a challenge. For example: can I, in good faith, compare a character’s movements to those of a hunting cat when no-one in that world even knows what a cat is? I’ve repeatedly run into difficulty in descriptive language because my world limits the comparisons I can make. I know some potentially-unusable comparisons slipped in there, but for now they’ll stay. I’ll tackle them in editing (when I have some time to research the question).
As I near the finish line, I’m getting paranoid about losing momentum. I’m almost afraid to let a day go by without writing at least something, even though I know that I’m close enough to the end that losing one day will not jeopardize being able to finish. This week has been rough outside of my writing, with a generally frustrating week, a sick dog, and a significant lack of sleep (thanks to the dog). There have been a couple days when I did not feel like writing at all (today included, I’m even having trouble getting this blog post done). But that fear of stagnation drove me to write anyway, and I tried to get at least a few hundred words each day.
Overall, I am still loving the NaNo experience. It is giving me a chance to stretch my creative & writing muscles. Even if no one ever reads this work of mine (yes, I am in “that part” of the novel), I know that when I’m done (with the first draft) in 8 days, I will be proud of my effort and accomplishment.
Next week’s update will probably be on Saturday – the official ending day of NaNo. I hope to have a title to share with you in what will be my last specifically NaNo post this year, and maybe a synopsis if I have time to craft one after I’m done with the writing portion.
For now, I must go. I have to get in that few hundred words for today.