On Writing: NaNoWriMo update day 27


It’s getting close to the end of November and I’ve written another 2,002 words so far today. That leaves me with just a bit over 3,000 words to go to attain NaNoWriMo target and ‘win’, which I can’t help but feel a little proud of, given that I backed out of last year’s exercise because the demanding shifts I was working didn’t seem to leave enough time for me to write 50,000 words, and I’m still on those shifts today.

It’s going to be bloody easy to pass the target, and ‘win’ for a second time, though I confess I haven’t enjoyed the experience as much this time. In 2011, there was the drama of a first attempt, the voyage of discovery, could I do it? There was the fun of success, of completing a full novel from scratch, actually cramming in 62,000 words approximately, and finishing a day early, on November 29. There was the constant cross-checking and mutual support with an on-line buddy who was also essaying a first NaNoWriMo. And posting each day’s effort, as a commitment to myself, creating a very public forum for success or failure, and getting some encouraging feedback from comments.

But that was 2011, and it’s very different now, and first and foremost has been the fact that this has been entirely a solo effort for me. Alison and I have long since drifted out of touch. I’ve posted nothing this time, due to a concern about something that, in terms of both subject and style, is very much a departure for me, a novel with virtually no plot element that does not lend itself to my favoured ironic style. And whilst another 3,200 words are easy to write to complete NaNoWriMo, they’re nothing like enough to complete the novel itself.

I don’t even know how far I have to go. 50,000 words is about two-thirds the usual length of a story for me, but in terms of the relationships I’ve established, I don’t even know if I’m halfway yet. My recent notes as to the course of things to come have underpinned a whole week’s writing and still they’re not exhausted. I can see only a very short distance beyond the point those notes reach and the ending is as unknown to me yet as are the events of Xmas Day this year. Less known, in fact: I have plans for Xmas Day involving turkey, roast potatoes and apple sauce.

So NaNoWriMo may be about to end, but not my commitment to this novel, and I can see the daily writing sessions going on well into December. Maybe they’ll be an unexpected part of Xmas Day? Stick in a new CD, open up the file and another 800 – 1200 words in Emily’s world (not the Emily who inspired this strand of posts: my lead character predates my knowing MostUncivilised, just like Declan’s name in The Revenge of the Purple Puffin – which needs only a cover to be published – predates knowing Newsy: life is strange.)

So it’s going to be a bit longer before I get back to concentrating mostly on this blog. I hope you can maintain your patience an extra week or few.

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