I’ve managed to pin some of my constant “AM I DOING THIS RIGHT” fear down to the fact that twice now, I haven’t picked easy concepts to portray. I’ve picked two narratives that are heavily reliant on a complicated story world that requires a lot of world building in order to get it right. With these I always run the risk of feeding the reader way too much exposition and dampening the effect of my narrative, but a lot of it is exposition that is necessary to understand the plot. I think this is something that I’ll be able to get right with careful planning, a lot of which I might not be able to see the first time around. Once or twice even with just this NaNo manuscript I’ve changed my mind about some of the details part way through, so if someone were to read it as it is written they’d get confused and ask “Wasn’t it different a few chapters a go?” I guess this is why editing is so important. Ugh. Writing is hard.
Week three had a very stupidly productive start to it. I managed to write 31 pages in my A5 notebook, which with a rough estimate of 150 words per page works out at about 4,650 words. It’s so weird, I am literally never this productive with my writing. I have never managed to pinpoint the habit of writing everyday, let alone meeting a solid word count. And this is just when I can find time in the day to write. It’s kind of like when you’re eating your favourite tub of Hagen Daas salted caramel ice cream, and when you hit a good caramel vein you want to follow it to its conclusion. That was what that first day was like. I’d gotten to a crucial point in my plot, where we find the main reveal of actually above ground isn’t a toxic wasteland – surprise! The only issue is I’m not too sure where to go with my plot now… I’ve got a vague outline, but I’m not sure if the characters are going to behave and follow what I had planned for them.
While the next day was still productive, it was way more disheartening. I’d pretty much hit the home run for what I had written down of the plot, and I’d only just surpassed the 40,000 word mark. I had to put in another plot thread to make sure it would tie in together with the word count. It felt like I was having to fight for each word to get the plot moving. Which was so frustrating, because I’d done it! I’d managed to surpass the 40,000 word mark and was way closer to finishing NaNo when I had just under two weeks still left! It was annoying that it was starting to feel like a struggle to move the plot forward as it meant that I’d have to do a serious amount of editing later on for it all to fit together and make sense.
Wednesday wasn’t as good a writing day. The plot I’d had written down pretty much tailed off, and the ending I had planned didn’t seem to fit with the characters. It didn’t fit the 50,000 word count aim, either, so I had to think about what my novel was missing. Thursday was even worse. When I sat down to write, I felt even more hopeless than I had the day before. Nothing I wrote felt right, and it felt like I’d been kidding myself about this idea. So I tried to write down what I wanted readers to get from the narrative, and what my aims had been. Next I thought about what I could take away from the main character to liven up the narrative, and came up with a more fitting ending to the narrative. It looks like I’ll have finished my first draft at the start of next week, (this week when I put up the blog post).
As stressful as the writing has been at times, feeling like I wasn’t doing it right and I was never going to make that 50,000 word goal, it was important to remember that actually it was amazing to have gotten as far as I had. This week I had passed the 40,000 word mark, and it hadn’t even been 15 days yet! Yes, most of what I’ve written will probably be cut or completely rewritten when I focus on how to make the narrative cleaner, but it’s amazing that I have managed to achieve something like this in such a short space of time.