Saturday, November 10, 2007

Still Writing

Friday's Total Word Count: 17,140

I should be proud of what I've accomplished so far, and I am. And I know that Week 2 is when a lot of people hit the wall: it's starting to drag on a bit, and the end is not in sight.

But I am very concerned about running out of material. Given where I am today, I'm afraid that I'll say everything I have to say, I'll tell the story, and find that it's an awkward 25,000 words. I don't mind finishing up after NaNoWriMo is over; I expect that. But I do really care about this story, and in the end, I want to have a novel, not a novella.

Saturday night update: Today's Word Count: 16,908.

Yes, that's fewer words than yesterday, but I wasn't editing, just removing some stuff that will come back in towards the end of the story.

Today's progress: one of the most successful days so far. Worried about flailing, or failing, I spent tonight creating a detailed timeline for the main character and a list of all the scenes in the story, with rough size targets. Lots of words, none of which count toward the NaNoWriMo 50,000 target, although I'm still ahead of where I need to be to meet that target while continuing at a steady pace. The scene outline should go a very long way toward helping me stay on track to finish the novel with the three main sections appropriately balanced.

I've never come this far, and I'm not talking about word count. I think this piece has potential. I'm not afraid to write it anymore.


  1. I ran into that problem with my last novel. I was almost through with my plot by 35,000 words. Not exactly the 90,000 I'd planned. This time I have about 38 scenes with each scene to be about 2000 words (though not all have been). I found with my last that I could go back through and find places where I'd told what had happened and could expand it by showing. It's hard this novel writing stuff.

  2. Amanda, me too. With my last novel, I ran out of interest in my mystery (and if I'm not interested anymore, surely no readers will be!) although it wasn't solved yet, and the framework surrounding the mystery played out at a different pace, so it was done too soon. I still like the idea, so I hope to try that novel again someday, maybe after a little more practice.

    I wished I'd story-boarded more before starting this one, but I couldn't make time in October and I wanted to get started on November 1. I'm a little ahead of goal now, so I might take some time today to stop and flesh out my ideas a little more before writing.

    I like your idea of having a target number of words for each scene; that might help me through the Week 2 jitters.

    I expect to go back and expand summary into scene before I'm done, but that's long, hard work, and not the easiest way to boost the NaNo word count!

    I hope I can get to 50,000 with the story as it's flowing now, then go back and expand, making a slightly larger (though still not big, maybe 75k?) novel.

  3. I love your idea of creating a timeline. I may have to do that. I've written a lot, but I'm not writing a novel at this point, or even something I can morph into a novel by the end of the month.

    Out of sheer stubbornness, I'm determined to have a total of 30,000 words by the end of the day. (I have no idea what I have now. I think it's around 28,000.) I just want NaNo over, so I can see if I've written anything salvageable.