Two weeks down. Sixteen days to go. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m never not going to be done writing my first drafts.
The concept of writing a novel in a month, 30 solid days, is to have a complete draft. The challenge is a chance to get the story scraped out from the inside of your brain and on to the screen (page). Beginning to end. After those thirty days, then you can go back and add more detail, refine the story, and take out the unnecessary bits, but I’ve never managed to do that.
In my nine years of participating in NaNoWriMo, not once has the story been complete by the end of the thirty days, even if I have reached the 50,000 word goal. For the most part that’s perfectly fine. NaNo is meant to be a tool to get you writing, to give you something other than a blank page, not the solution to everything a writer suffers during the drafting stage. This just means I have many more months of work ahead of me for each project I bring to life during the month of November.
On November 13, 2021, two days before the halfway mark of our thirty day time period, I reached halfway mark for the word count! Ahead of schedule. I feel calm and clear and ready for the next chapter of the story, but that’s just it. I’m only on chapter 5 of an undetermined number. I wrote down every possible scene I could conjure for this story before writing began and split those into more or less equal parts of three. Chapter 5, with at least fifteen more scenes to turn into chapters before part 1 is over. By the sheer number alone I know, I’ll be nowhere done with, At the Turn of Tomorrow, by 50,000 words if I’ve even broken in to part 2 by then.
Regardless of where in the story I am when I git 50K, I know that I am going to win NaNo this year. It’s an amazing feeling, especially given everything 2020 had been and failing the challenge by 10,000 words in 2019. I’m well on track and I’m going to keep it that way. I wasn’t sure about this story when I started and even less so when I had begun developing the short idea at the start of October. But now, I’m in love with it. I do hope you get to read it one day. But until then I’ll be happy with just getting the story told, even if I am the only one to read it or to love these characters.