Tomorrow is the end of Week 1 of NaNoWriMo, and I have more than 10,000 words logged in. As I finished my writing for today, I realized that I don’t know if I’ll meet the challenge. It’s not because I won’t have 50,000 words completed. It’s because as of right now I don’t think the story will be complete at that length. I’m already at more than 10,000 words and I’m only on Chapter 6.
I can’t say exactly how long I expect the story to be. One of my favorite movies is Amadeus, and one of my favorite scenes is where the hoity-toity Emperor tells Mozart his opera has too many notes and he should cut a few and it will be perfect, to which Mozart, in one of my favorite smart-ass comebacks of all time, asks, “Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?” Mozart goes on to explain that he uses exactly as many notes as he needs, no more and no less. That’s how I feel about writing my stories. I use exactly as many words as I need—no more and no less. The result is that my novels aren’t any certain length. Woman of Stones turned out to be a novella at 35,000 words. Victory Garden is in the 60,000s, and the books in the Loving Husband Trilogy are in the 80,000 range. I certainly won’t consider it a waste if I hit the 50,000 word mark on November 30 (you’ll see!) and That You Are Here isn’t finished. I’ll simply continue the discipline I’m learning through NaNoWriMo and at this rate I should have it done by the middle of December.
While I go back to writing a bit more tonight (it’s six p.m. here in Vegas and I still have some brain power), I’m reposting an article about writing historical fiction. Enjoy.