Last week, I mentioned how I was seeing a lot of other writers hitting roadblocks on their National Novel Writing Month projects. This week, I tasted my own medicine and found I was struggling to put words on the page the way I wanted to. I’m lucky that, as a NaNo Rebel, I have more freedom to take breaks and relax before coming back to the page. Unlike other writers who are working toward 50k and trying to get over 1,600 words a day, my goals seem more achievable at this stage.
If all goes well, I will have 20k written toward my new novel (V) and a newly revised novella (TMR). Both of these require different writing skills at different points in time, but I’m finding that switching between the two not-so-dissimilar projects helps my creativity. This may be a format I’ll use again for future NaNoWriMos.
I mostly struggled with development on V. I tossed and turned in my bed, brainstorming which direction I wanted the ending to go. If I have that in mind earlier in the drafting, I’m able to include more foreshadowing or subtleties that will pay off later. Most of this week was spent finishing chapters three and four and developing two more sources. Some writers recommend ignoring research completely for NaNo because rabbit holes can be distracting and take up a lot of valuable writing time and energy. I’m not taking that advice, because I want small details like addresses, restaurant menus, and regionalism to work as early as possible. Maybe they’ll be cut or matter less once I hit the revision stage, but I love these little rabbit holes right now.
I wrote less this week because I took three days “off.” I added over 3,500 words to V for a new total of 15,393. This means I only have a little over 4,600 words left to hit my goal for the month! If I had to guess right now, I’d say I’ll use my last week of NaNo to finish two more chapters and two more sources. In Week 3, my protagonist encountered the ‘inciting incident’ which pushes a good bit of the narrative forward until we meet our next conflict. I’m also hoping to have more time with the eventual love interest. (Honestly, I’m going to blame daylight savings for my various breaks because all I want to do is burrow under blankets as soon as it’s dark).
The novella only has a little left before I’m done with it. This week I edited and revised three chapters and finished part two—the biggest chunk. I mostly worked on tuning the grammar and cutting down where I could. This resulted in a moderate 95-word difference between this and the previous draft for these chapters. I’m working on clarifying one of the subplots, which will have a bigger pay-off in the end. I had the chance to re-read one of the most disgusting things I’ve written in my life, and I’m still proud of how sick and twisted it is. All that’s left is the last part, which includes a heart-racing climax!
As promised, I’m going to include a new tidbit this week. Since the previous two entries have focused on V, this one will be coming from TMR. Dialogue is one of my favorite things to write and I think it shines pretty well when it’s included in the novella. So, here’s a brief moment from TMR, without any context or clues, but hopefully it whets your appetite for more.
“Please.” Steph’s voice broke. “Don’t leave me here.”
“Oh, stop being dramatic, Stephanie. You’ll be fine,” Mom said.
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