November is creeping towards us and you know what that means. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is almost here and I have no idea what I’m doing for it. Last year I did really well, reaching 30,000 words in my novel which I have barely touched since. November is that one time of year when I find that I can actually sit down and be super productive and push myself because there’s a website and potentially other people watching and probably judging me for how much work I do. It’s a challenge, how much can I write before I run out of time. It’s good for me. I can see how much I’ve written and how far I have to go and it’s really nice. I just wish I could do that all the time.
My novel is nowhere near finished, though it is officially longer than the novella I wrote in high school, so that’s something. The problem is, I don’t really know where to go next and I’m just kind of fumbling around. Also, it’s 30,000 words that I have to go back and reread before I start writing again to regain my bearings. I am both A: a slow reader, and B: a compulsive reviser so if I start rereading it’ll take me forever because I’m easily distracted and will want to stop every few paragraphs and change a sentence or ad a scene or fix something and it’ll be a mess. But if I want to continue it, I have to do it.
I’m not sure how I want to record my word count this year. Last year I started with an 11,000 word head start because that’s how much I had written. I know that makes my final count much less impressive, but it was also good for me to have that boost. In years past I’ve started at 0 and added more words than I had actually written every day until I was caught up to where I actually was. That’s a lot of work, but I guess it looked better on the graph than the alternative. This year it’ll be really sketchy to start at 30,000 words and move up. But I can’t imagine a reasonable way to figure out how many words I’ve written this coming month outside the total word count. I’ve thought, maybe I’ll work in a different document so I can see the word count for the month. The problem is a lot of my writing is inserted scenes into the main story, things I wanted to put in and forgot about. I have characters that I forgot to involve after their initial introduction that I have to slip in places. I never work in a purely linear way. This also means just highlighting what I’ve written that day won’t work either. That leaves recording my starting word count and mathing out how much I’ve written from there. Admittedly I will probably be mathing my way through to some degree, but it’s a lot of work that I’m not sure I’m into.
My other option is just to start a new novel all together. The problem with that is I don’t have a story and for this to work, I have to have a story, characters and an outline of what’s going to happen at least half way through to keep me on track. I did so well last year because I was prepared and I had a guide to keep me moving forward. I’ve tried spontaneous novel writing before and it never ends well. Mostly with me staring at a computer and then watching Netflix or something. It’s not good. There’s part of me that’d like to write a romance as I’m in that kind of a mood, but another part of me is saying “just write it into your novel.” I can do that, probably, I’ve got girl characters and boy characters and that’s really all you need. We’ll see, I guess. If I magically come up with another idea for a novel I’ll let you all know.
That brings me to my last thoughts on planning for NaNoWriMo. Last year I did a lot of updates for the month of November, mostly on my writing and how it was going. I posted nearly every day with an update about my writing, mostly in a free-writing format. I think it might have helped to get my brain flowing and to think through what I was writing so you may very well be flooded for a month with posts about my novel and nonsense that goes on in my head. I also might take a break after that, we’ll see. But for now, I’m going to assume the NaNoWriMo plan is the same as from last year, daily updates, on week days, at least, and we’ll see if I can finally reach the 60,000 word goal.