19, 332 words, 9 chapters, and eleven days. (Yeah, my chapters are rather long). NaNo is here, in full force. I started out way ahead, spent the weekend away, came back way behind, and somehow, miraculously, got back on track yesterday. So, here’s how it’s going:
What’s going well:
I’ve never hit a wall and wondered “What on earth should happen next?” or “Where is this going?!”.
All my subplots are moving along at the right pace, and I can see ways in which they’ll intersect nicely later.
My characters are strong (in my amateur, highly-biased opinion).
I’m having a lot of fun with dialogue, and I think it’s realistic (again, in my oh-so-trustworthy opinion).
What’s not going well:
I’m describing my character’s feelings too much and explaining exactly why they’re doing something, when it would be better to “show, not tell” and give clues for the reader to figure it out for themselves.
I don’t like my tone/voice/whatever-you-call-it. It’s a little off, but I’m not exactly sure in what way.
I need to describe the setting better, but at the same time, I feel like I’m using too much description. I need to figure out where to use description and make the most of my words in that area.
Technically, by next week, we’re supposed to half-way done with the book, and while I will be word-count-wise, I can tell I won’t be plot-wise. I suppose that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since most books are more than 50K words, but I was rather hoping to not only hit 50K but finish the book as well. Now I’ll probably have to finish it outside of November.
What I’ve learned:
I’m horrible at math. Seriously. I can never figure out if I’ve typed 1667 words each day or how many words I need to get back on track. Yesterday, I thought I was 4K behind, when it was really closer to 3K, and then I typed a bunch and thought I would need to type about 2K more to reach the day’s goal. However, when I looked at my total word count, I was suddenly ahead again! Any math abilities I had have fled far, far away. NaNo scared ’em off.
Word wars work. There’s just something about the competition that gets me to spit out words like you’re not kidding. If you haven’t word warred yet, do it. Plus, it’s fun.
Writing is the only way to write a book. Duh. But seriously, NaNo has taught me to simply write and forget about being Shakespeare or Tolkien, ignore my inner editor, and push through times when I honestly don’t feel like writing one bit. And guess what? By doing all that, I’m writing a book. Obvious stuff, but why is it that I sit around and don’t write for eleven months out of the year, bemoaning the fact that my book isn’t “coming along”?
So, how ’bout you? Learned anything? Is it going well or badly or both? Remember, you’re not alone!