I was at home today with my son, who is recovering from the flu. Since he spent most of the day on the couch under his blankets, watching TV and movies on DVD, I got a lot of writing done.
This morning, I finished reading the third week section of No Plot? No Problem! and decided to take Chris's advice to heart. Looking at my plot notes, I decided I wasn't even halfway to the end of my novel. And I want to finish with something that resembles my vision of what this book is going to look like when it's done. That is, I want the complete story arcs for my characters that I mapped out.
I'm glad that I took a look at my notes. I had already started skipping around in my novel. The character that I developed first, the one who I thought was going to be my main character, was taking more and more of a back seat. During some of the rough parts of week two, I left him alone quite a bit, and focused on the other two main characters I've been writing about. That helped me get focused again.
I guess that's one of those writer moments that I hear people talking about, when the characters demand things of you. That time when you realize that maybe you're not in control, that the characters you created are really in charge of their own lives and you're merely the scribe.
Anyway, back to today... I'm glad that I looked at those notes again, because I ended up throwing a lot of them out. I had plotted things that my characters simply would not do. I know that now because I understand them so much better than I did a couple of weeks ago. So I trimmed some of that incorrect stuff out. And there were one or two things that I just looked at and thought didn't really fit in this novel at all. I have a more bare outline now, but one that should take me to 50,000 words (or more) and a finished novel (basically). If I can pull that off, I'll be more than happy. I will have really accomplished what I set out to do.
I can always come back to it in December and flesh it out even more. I may put some of those things back in. I'm sure other new things will occur to me over the next couple of weeks as well, that I may or may not fit in by the end of the month. We'll see. Flexibility is definitely a skill that helps during NaNoWriMo.
Today's final word count: 2,931 words, which makes it my second best day so far this November. My total: 31,912 words. I'm 63% done, which puts me almost two-thirds of the way there.
"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." - George Orwell