Tomorrow is November 15, which is the middle of the month, which is also the halfway point for NaNoWriMo. And I’m almost exactly halfway through the challenge at 24,122 words. According to my chart, I’m right on time. Yippee!
I can see why people start giving up Week 2. It’s like going on a diet. The first week you have a lot of momentum because you’ve psyched yourself up for it and you’re raring to go. The second week it’s more like, “You mean I have to keep doing this?” I did write on Monday even though I didn’t feel like it, and a funny thing happened. The story started to click and I’ve made a lot of progress the last three days. Partially, I think I’m making more progress now because the outline I have is stronger in the middle to ending chapters so I have a better frame to work with. Partially, I think it’s because for the first two weeks I needed to spend some of my writing time looking at photographs and taking some Google Earth peeks at Portland, Oregon, the setting of the story. I was there in June, but only for a few days, so I needed some reminders. And I find the opening chapters of a novel to be the hardest to write because that’s where the important world building takes place. That’s not to say that world building doesn’t continue throughout the story, but those first chapters are crucial in introducing the characters and setting the scene so readers understand where they are and who they’re with. So it does take me longer to write those chapters.
I realized this week that I am very much Goldilocks when I’m writing fiction. The first draft is too short. The second draft is too long. The third (and forth and fifth) draft is closer to being just right. So this first draft will probably end up somewhere on the short side. Maybe the final version of the novel will end up being around 50,000 words after all. As of today, at 24,122 words I’m on Chapter 12 of what is currently a projected 22 chapter novel. I’m as curious as anyone about where the story will be on the 30th. But I’m making progress, which is really what NaNoWriMo is all about. Now it’s back to work!