#NaNoWriMo: midpoint check-in

Well, we’re just over half-way through this year’s NaNoWriMo. So, I thought I might check in and let you know how things are going. This year, unlike last year, I am staying just at or slightly behind daily “par” word count (1667 words per day).

I “won” the past two years (“win” = wrote 50k words in 30 days). But, both years I fell behind early and then had to pull some major writing days over Thanksgiving weekend just to get caught up. To compare: at this point last year I had 21.8k words, and the year before that I had 24.3k words. Right now I have 29.1k, and I need to be at 30k to be at “par” for the 18th of the month.

I think having more of an outline going in this year is helping. I also have a little more practice now at sitting down and getting the writing done. It’s great that I’m on track to finish 50k by the end of the month. But, according to my outline, I think this book is going to be more like 60-65k when it’s done. I promised myself I wouldn’t stop writing until I got to “the end.” So, I’m either going to have to keep writing for the first ten days of December, or I’m going to have to pick up the pace a bit.

Right now I’m bridging a gap between two events that set up my ending. This gap appears to involve a bunch of kissing. It’s sort of the calm before the storm. I have a feeling that once I get past the middle bits and start writing the “crisis” and “climax” sections of my outline, the writing will go faster. Unfortunately, I sort of stopped outlining when I got to the “crisis” point in the book. By my calculations, that should start somewhere after 38k words (~2/3 thru the book). So, I have about 10k more words to write before I am going to be switching to full on “panster” mode for the last ~22k of the book. I know, more or less, how I want it to end. So, it just depends on whether I think I need a map to get there, or not.

Overall, the writing has been going pretty smoothly so far. There have definitely been a few days were I just did not want to write. And, for the most part, I didn’t push it. To recharge, I’ve been taking some time to watch TV shows (mostly Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the new Supergirl show, and Last Week Tonight). I haven’t had time to get into any new books. Last month, when I had time to read whatever I wanted to, I was in a bit of a reading slump, but now, when all my spare time is writing, I miss books like crazy. I’m dying to get lost in a good book, or even a trashy book. Any book. But the books will still be there in December. November is for writing.

I’m mostly happy with how things are going so far with the story. I already know I’m going to have to go back and add more description and maybe flesh out a few scenes more. And I’m not entirely sure if my romance is believable enough, yet. But, I’m definitely making a story that I would want to read, and that makes me happy. Right now it feels like the rough sketch you might make before creating a painting. It feels like I’m only hinting at the color and the atmosphere. But all that can be dealt with in revisions. The point of NaNo is to just get the story out on the page.

I should quit procrastinating with the blog and get back to novel writing. If you’re curious, you can check out my “author page” on the NaNoWriMo website for a little blurb about my book and the first few paragraphs of the story.