We’re a officially a week into NaNoWriMo 2017 and it’s fair to say that I’m doing better than the previous three years I’ve attempted this writing challenge. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an online event where thousands of writers (read: people who can’t get enough self abuse elsewhere) attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This roughly equals out to 1,667 words a day. The idea is to take a blank page and start a new manuscript from scratch. Write with abandon! Turn off the internal editor, chase your coffee with Red Bull, and pretend to remember what sleep feels like. Well, seven days into the process and I wanted to take a break from writing to, well write something different. Maybe my brain actually is turning to mush.
I’ve tried NaNoWriMo three times in the past and each time I didn’t finish. I think, if I remember right, the farthest along I got was 20,000 and change, but I never hit the 50,000 mark. This year, I said that was going to change. It worked out: I finished the third draft of a project and started the next step in the process for that potential novel, and I had a new idea that was ready to go. Except, in my own self-hatred way, I jumped the word count up from 50,000 to 75,000 so I could hopefully have the base for a full-length novel, attached a reward to it (video games yay!), and actually made an outline.
A couple things. As of writing this, I’ve logged 18,017 words for a daily average of just over 3,000. So, in that respect, I’m right on track with where I need to be. In the realm of having a novel written. . . Yeah, no. Now, I’ve written four novels, one of which is published, one is being shopped around, and the other two will never, ever, ever, bloody ever see the light of day. This is the first time I’ve written a full, detailed outline for a project though. And it’s pretty much meant Jack. Just yesterday, one of the major characters switched genders, so there goes that. The person I thought the main character would be closest to is actually turning into a secondary antagonist, and someone I had scripted as a minor, background character is now second in command.
And that’s just the characters.
Last night, I sat down to write and realized the previous ~4,500 words were wrong. That for the story to make sense the main character would have had to react to a situation completely differently. Why am I sharing what a mess this is? (Because I need a break from it) Just kidding. It’s actually because this is some of the most fun I’ve ever had writing and the first time I’ve ever really been able to turn off the internal editor. In previous years, I would have stopped and re-written everything that I know needs to be changed, thus failing NaNo. But because the only goal this year is word count (I will get you Dark Souls III. . . I mean 75,000 words) I made major notes to myself and continued writing as if those changes were already implemented.
It’s chaos but it’s fun. And I’ve been able to keep myself on track this first week by pretty much ignoring my social life. Though last night I did opt for the gym and only got around 1,000 words in but hey, what are you going to do?
Get right back on and keep going. So, I’ll try to check in next week, but till whenever I pull myself out of this project. . . Cheers.