At the last minute — okay, technically after the last minute, since it was later in the day on November 1 — I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. I joined knowing there was pretty much 0% chance of me reaching the 50,000 word goal for November. I doubt I’ll even get close.
Which is fine, because while 50,000 words of novel would be great, that’s not my goal. I wanted to try to push myself into working more on Terminal Peace. I haven’t written at my usual pace for about a year now, and at least half of that time, I wasn’t writing at all. For the past month, I’ve been slowly getting back into the book, maybe a few hundred words a day. I figured this might help me shift into a higher gear.
It sort of worked. In the first five days of November, I did 6,474 words. I averaged more than a thousand words/day. It’s the best writing streak I’ve had since 2018.
Then, of course, I hit a point in the story where I needed to know the backstory of an entire planet, build an alien culture or two, figure out the motivations of two ambiguous villains … basically, yesterday and today were 0-wordcount days as I tried to figure out the next chunk of the book.
That’s disappointing after a good five-day streak, but I don’t want to ignore the significance of those five days. I was able to focus more, and get closer to being the working writer I was a year ago. I’m not there yet, but it’s progress. And as I noted on Facebook, Terminal Peace now includes the phrase “ranivorous cleavage,” so you know, that’s a thing.
I’m still brainstorming and making notes, but hopefully I’ll get back to producing actual words tomorrow.
Good luck to everyone taking NaNoWriMo on this year!
November 8, 2019 @ 7:24 am
I’m glad you got a flow going for a bit and that you feel good about the progress you made.
I’m selfishly pleased that Terminal Peace is getting a few words in, though I’m perfectly willing to wait as long as it takes for your next publication.
Thank you for the delightful vocabulary expansion; I recently began listening to the back catalogue of The Allusionist podcast by Helen Zaltsman and if you’ve not heard it yet, it is so good. Episodes are each about 10-15 minutes long and perfect for an interesting and humorous dive into etymology and language while you’re waiting in line somewhere.
November 8, 2019 @ 8:04 am
I don’t think you deserve to be disappointed for figuring out what’s going to happen! That’s as important a part of the book as the actual writing – it makes sure everything makes sense and that the back story is credible. So I’d say don’t be too hard on yourself for taking the time to make the book as good as you can.
November 8, 2019 @ 8:20 am
Can always write a small throw away story as some of your background too. Something that makes the history alive for you.. And I’m sure we all would love those little stories.(I still love the Goblin’s ministories).
November 8, 2019 @ 8:45 am
Glad to hear that you’re starting to get back into the swing of things. I love NaNo. It’s the only time of year that I’m able to get my act together to get a big writing project done. Good luck in whatever progress that you make this month! Like they say in all the pep talks, even if you only get 1,000 words done this month, that’s 1,000 words you didn’t have before.
November 8, 2019 @ 6:26 pm
Ranivorous cleavage – not, I am happy to discover, in the habit of eating Indian queens. Although cleavage was originally a geological term, so perhaps the earth swallowing Sita could be described as Rani-vorous cleavage?
You learn something new every day.