Monday, November 15, 2010


November 12th is the day where NaNoWriMo writers should be at 20,004 words (if they are following the general 1,667 words per day guideline).  Today however is November 15th, the half-way point.  My novel sits at 20,325 words, or roughly 41% complete.  What does this mean?  Superficially, that there are only 30,000 words left to write.  But I thought I would look back at my first 20,000 words so far.

The most obvious observation is that my writing style and narrative voice has adapted over 20,000 pages.  If you were to compare the first page I wrote with the most recent page I wrote, you would probably think two different writers wrote each one.  I've definitely noticed a growth in skill as I've continued to write, though I think I'd say that the skill was already there - I just haven't used it in a long time, so it took a few hundred thousand words to come back.  Oh also I changed from 3rd person to 1st person.  Go me!

I wish I could easily scan over the document and pick out all instances of alliteration, because I apparently love to use it.  Some day, if this book ever becomes anything remotely close to popular, I'll make the first draft available for people to read and have a chuckle.  There's even a direct reference to the parting of the Red Sea in there, but it's the most basic, obvious reference in the world and so therefore will not be staying in the final draft.

And that's another thing - I'm writing this story with a (very) basic outline.  I know that I want my character to go from Point A to B, and have vague ideas of how to get to Point B, but it's all going by the seat of my pants.  Unfortunately that means that there's a lot of meandering along and not always a lot of plot advancement, but it's giving me something to work with when I go back and edit later.  This is not the biggest problem though, as my main issues are keeping facts / different plot points straight.  This may lead to hair-pulling editing later.

I feel like a broken record though, in regards to editing.  I'm making a conscious choice not to edit as I go, or else I wouldn't be making very much progress.  As a result, I am very aware of areas in the book that need work (and let's not joke around, the whole thing needs work).  It honestly makes me dread the notion of editing this thing, and not want to do it.

But that is ultimately the difference between a writer who sells his/her books and the writer who doesn't: the writer that sells is the writer that puts the work into it.  And make no mistake, all of this?  This is work.  It's also a challenge, and one that I don't intend to give up on until November 30th.  I have to say, there have been points where I've thought about giving up and finishing on my own time; but that's why this is a competition against myself to win.  By giving up, I lose; I know for a fact if I don't finish it this month, the chances are low of me taking the initiative to go back and finish it.

One last thing: writing this has brought out my creative energy again.  Before October, when I decided to commit myself to this month-long haul, I had many misgivings about my own writing.  I was still proud of things I wrote, but that pride melted away like a snowman in October (oh yes, that was a terrible simile on purpose).  I had no confidence in what I was doing, and no motivating drive to do anything new.  I feel that after I finish the novel, that drive will stick and I'll have new creative output other than just this beast in the weeks/months to come.


  1. Hey, you're doing great. Being behind is nothing to be afraid of, in fact, I think it can be a huge motivator.

    If you need additional assistance there, check out the most recent post from Sushi:

  2. Thanks for the link! I think I can safely say I'm not afraid of beind behind - in fact, I'm trying to look at it this way: I'm not behind the word count unless it's December 1st and I haven't hit 50k. Until then, I'm still making progress.