Wednesday, 18 September 2013

70135 / 50000 words. 140% done!

So, that happened.

Finishing a novel- or rather, a first draft, because this is nowhere NEAR ready to be read by anyone who isn't editing it- is a weird process. After a certain point, I think I was just hurling myself forward with my teeth gritted, detemined to FINISH THE DAMN THING ALREADY. It's a good motivator, if nothing else; I was logging up to five thousand words a day towards the end there because I'd reach my daily goal and think "well, I'm only five hundred words away from the NEXT thousand" and just keep plugging ahead.

And again: this book is not even remotely close to being readable. I'm not sure how long the editing process will take; probably longer than it would otherwise, because I'm in the ensemble/crew of my university's fall production of Richard III, so I have four and a half-hour rehearsals every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in addition to three other classes. By the time I stagger home at night, I'm generally too wiped to do anything but fall into bed and scroll tumblr with my eyes glazed over. I have a writer's group meeting on Sunday; I'll be looking for potential editing partners there, and after that, I'll probably be doing schoolwork during the week and editing on weekends. I don't have any deadlines on this book except the ones I set for myself, so I have time.

What I really feel about this project- more than anything else at the moment- is a drive to keep going. After frantically writing for so long, not having any immediate work to do on it feels incredibly strange. I'll probably feel like this until I send it out to a beta reader and get it back; on the bright side, this is certainly good preparation for waiting on agents and editors.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Where do we go from here?

50140 / 50000 words. 100% done!

The good news: good god y'all, I wrote fifty thousand words!

The also-good but slightly more complicated news: that doesn't mean I'm done.

Fifty thousand words is the minimum generally given to people who want to write a novel- that's why it's the stated goal for NaNoWriMo. But it's not like you just hit the 50k mark and toss your pen in the air crying "TOUCHDOWN!" I've written by wordcount before, and what I inevitably discovered is that writing rarely fits into pre-ordered wordcounts like that. This one I'm working on right now is going to be- by my estimate- another ten thousand words at least, in order to resolve the main conflict and wrap up all the subplots. The challenge going forward is going to be writing in order to fit the plot rather than meet my goal for today. With the fifty thousand baseline reached, I no longer need to be concentrating on making sure the book is long enough, and instead the focus will be making sure that everything is being wrapped up properly. Up to this point, I've been measuring my daily goal by word increments; one thousand words is the minimum, and then if I go over that, that's a bonus. Obviously, since the wordcount is no longer my primary goal, that's not going to be the benchmark for a day's accomplishments anymore. And even when I do finish this draft, it's just that- a draft. There's  long, hard road of editing waiting ahead of me.

But you know what? I still wrote fifty thousand words.

Bottoms up!