Hello again, dreamers. NaNoWriMo is now in its second week, and it’s been an incredible experience so far.
Talk about night and day. As of tonight, I’ve passed the 20,000-word mark, and more than likely I’m not finished for the evening. The words are all coming together perfectly right now, and I’m zipping through chapters nearly as fast as I was over the summer. At my current pace, I could hit 50,000 words in a week. Originally, I told myself that this week I wouldn’t be taking my customary Saturday break for college football. Now, I think maybe I deserve a day off.
There are a few caveats, however, as I’ve started getting a better idea of how things look moving forward. Over the past week, I’ve averaged between 4,000-5,000 words a day, as I write one chapter a day. For those unfamiliar with my process, when writing a novel I usually try to limit myself to a chapter per day. At night, after work, I write the next chapter. The next morning over breakfast I revise, before moving the chapter from my work file to the master file. Waiting until the following morning normally helps with the revision, and doing so also helps me decide what will happen next.
Maintaining my brisk pace so far would require continuing to write one chapter per day, but I’m fairly certain I won’t take 30,000 words to get to the end of this phase of the novel. Typically, I would take at least a week away from the novel after completing a phase, followed by a full edit of everything I’d written to that point. After that, the next phase often starts slow, sometimes with another week spent in research. All of this could bring my progress in NaNoWriMo to a screeching halt.
The one thing I do have going for me is that phase 3 ends with the major climax of the novel. The first chapter or two of phase 4 will deal almost entirely with the aftermath of that event, which means at least for a while I’ll have a very good idea of where I’m going. It also helps that this phase will require far less research than those before it, as by this point most of the flora, fauna, and technology has been established.
There’s still a long way to go before I get to that point, of course. A lot can change; plenty already has. As a writer, I’ve long felt that if what you write doesn’t surprise you now and then, you’re doing something wrong.
No doubt The Pioneer still has a few surprises left in store for me. – MK