As of yesterday afternoon, I have written just over 50,000 words of the NaNoWriMo novel, which means technically that I’m finished, but! a) November’s not over, and b) I have a lot more story to tell.
I’d been thinking this novel was about 2/3 written. I know that my big flaw as a novelist is that I’m not always especially good at pacing, so this is of course subject to change, but I was thinking, “I’ve covered a lot of ground, there can’t be much left.” I also didn’t think I could write a 100,000-word novel. Not that this in and of itself is an impossibility—I have this 140,000-word monstrosity that I’m sure will never get published, at least not in its current form, because it is awful—more that I didn’t think this novel was that long. And probably it really isn’t and I’ll end up cutting out a lot of dead weight when I edit.
Before I went to sleep last night, I planned out the rest of the chapters. I’ve completely written fifteen chapters so far. According to my plan, there will be 30 total. That means I’m roughly at the halfway point, theoretically. And today’s the 15th, the NaNo halfway point, and that means I’ve been writing roughly a chapter a day, which, woah!
I think this is a “NaNoWriMo is what you make of it” lesson. Some people do use it as an opportunity to write that novel they’ve always wanted to write. Some just write whatever silly things pop into their heads and have a lot of fun with it. Some people just write as many words as possible, relative worth be damned. I, obviously, am not in the, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel but never have time,” camp, since I’ve written a few (and one will be out in February!), but I think it is about testing the upper limits of what you can do, writing-wise. The most words I’ve ever written in one month was 85,000, achieved in 2007. At this point, I just want to get a draft of this novel finished. If it turns out to be 100,000 words, so be it. And also, damn. And also, I hope I don’t wind up with carpal tunnel.