I started my novel-writing month a day later than expected, on Tues 8th February. As the sole participant of this unscheduled challenge I see that as my prerogative, although now I’m determined to stick to the rigid 30 days.
The first week has been an interesting experience. I’d felt that the first act had been fairly tightly plotted in my mind-mapping sessions. But, as it’s transpired, a swiftly written novel likes to untether itself from expectations. Frequently, characters have ended up in unexpected surroundings, plot points have been revealed far sooner than I’d anticipated, and whole new events have unfolded without planning. NaNoWriMo forum members have talked about ‘characters leading the way’ – I rather see it as the desperation of writing quickly produces shortcuts and forces odd associations in the brain to become meshed within the story.
One of the biggest challenges so far has been to reign in the plot. I keep threatening to reach milestones far too early. This feels like good experience – I think I tend to rush through stories, and while it can at times feel like ‘padding out’, I expect that on rereading it’ll all still feel breakneck. We’ll see, because I’m determined not to reread any of the story until the 30 days are up. Even then, I think I’ll need a break before I face up to what I’ve created…
The 1667 words per day is proving perfectly workable. I’d banked a full day’s extra wordcount in order to take a day off on Saturday, on a London visit to celebrate Rose’s birthday. I’ll aim to build up an extra few hundred words per day as I go on, too.
So, in summary: this is an excellent project. I’m aware that I’m producing some turgid rubbish at times, but actually getting to the 10,000 word mark this evening – far more words than I’ve written in total in the last three years – was exhilarating.