(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)
Since I was in the land of no internets for Thanksgiving (my dad still thinks dial-up is the be-all and end-all of internet connectivity), I didn’t have an opportunity to post on Thursday. And since I spent at least part of Friday (the part between midnight and 4:00 am) suffering the consequences of forgetting that green-bean casserole is often made with cream of mushroom soup, and that mushrooms and I are No Longer Friends, I didn’t get around to posting sooner. My apologies for that.
In the meantime, despite the distractions of the holiday, I’ve gone and crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line. I have accumulated 50,207 words as of just a few minutes ago. And yes, I know already that some of them are not especially good words, and will end up getting edited out of the final novel (like at least 5,000 words of rapturous description of an airship that can probably be reduced to a few sentences, if not eliminated entirely), and that I really need to tone down the angst between my two star-crossed lovers.
I am, of course, nowhere near finishing the story. I have no idea how long this one will end up being, and I’m very much afraid that I’m going to have to cut one of the two narrative lines out of it just to keep it to a reasonable length. However, I’ve also reached a point where I can skim through several weeks in a few paragraphs, and I intend to do just that.
So now I go from the mode of trying to accumulate as many words as possible in a given time-frame to trying to tell the story as economically as possible. It’s going to make for an interesting first draft, as far as pacing goes!
Finding time to write on or around a holiday is always a challenge for me. On Thanksgiving, I found myself wide awake at 5:30 am, so I got out my netbook and managed to get in 800 words or so before breakfast. That seems to be an effective strategy for me; there’s also something about the peaceful calm of a holiday morning that I find conducive to writing. Maybe it’s just knowing that the day won’t be following the normal routine, and that there are surprises and treats to which to look forward that makes it easier to focus on the story for a few minutes instead.
There were a couple of times when we were waiting on things to cook when I really wanted to whip out the netbook and start writing, but I had to be sociable instead. And honestly, being sociable is a good thing, most of the time. After all, new material for writing has to come from somewhere, right? How better to come up with ideas for dialogue and plot twists than by carrying on conversations with other human beings (instead of just the voices in one’s head!)?
I could easily have gotten another 500 or so on the hour’s trip home from my parents’ house, but by then it was dark, and my Beloved Husband doesn’t like to drive after dark. Which is unfortunate, since I seem to write well in the car. Sadly, we had no writing road trips this year. Maybe I’ll plan one for next year.
At any rate, I’ve met my deadline for the month, though I’ll continue to write every day for the next four days, at least. And probably after that, until the story is finished. Hopefully, that will be sooner than the March that it was last year, or the May the year before that!
Has anyone else met a writing goal this month?