NaNoWriMo elation deflation

I was meaning to blog a few days ago about how upbeat I was feeling about NaNoWriMo. I really should have done it then, because now my balloon has popped.

I assume I'll get it back, so don't feel too bad. It's just that I took a hard look at the facts.

Fact #1: Despite being almost caught up to where I need to be to finish the month at 50,000 words, which is to say just over halfway there, I am nowhere near halfway done with my story. Furthermore, I looked at some statistics of average word lengths for romance novels, at least of the particular kind I am writing, and I got an average of 100,000-130,000 words. That's right. If I finish my 50,000 words, I will be at best halfway through my novel.

Fact #2: Hmm. I thought there was a Fact #2. My mistake.

NaNoWriMo 2009 participantThe NaNoWriMo rules state that you must have 50,000 words and a beginning, middle, and end. What this means is that I have a few options for finishing out NaNoWriMo and WINNING (if I could put sparkles around that word, I would, I swear):

Option #1: Finish up the story arc of my novel in 50,000 words by doing the writerly equivalent of skimming, at least as I get near the end date. Skip scenes, skip details, skip description, and just tell the bare-bones story.

Option #2: Write a whole heck of a lot more to finish the whole kit and caboodle by Nov. 30.

I have a 2-year-old and another blog and a home business and a life. I think Option #2 is off the table.

But this means that I will have to spend December and perhaps January (and if I'm really bad, let's pray not, February or more) writing the rest of the lost words to my novel.

Just to compare, last year I wrote a murder mystery, a jovial little thing that could clock in in final draft at 75,000 and be dandy. Once I'd done a first revision of my winning NaNoWriMo attempt, I had that easy. There were several scenes I needed to add, characters I had to flesh out, and descriptions to add in, because I hate descriptions (reading and writing! Sorry, all you describers of lovely sunsets!).

I compared my (other) unfinished romance novel to the NaNoWriMo length, and I am at 85,000 words in it, and I know I am about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through my story there. See what I mean? Because I ain't never finished that 85,000-word one, so that's not a good track record, is it, now?

So I'm all intimidated and rightly humbled and all that.

But I soldier on. Keep writing.

Photo courtesy OkayCityNate on flickr (cc)


Benny Perry said...

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