Day one of NaNoWriMo has come to a close, and I’m tentatively upbeat. I clocked in at over 4K yesterday, just clacking away and willing myself not to go back, not to edit, just to write, just to tell the story. It’s been admittedly challenging, moving from novel editing mode back to novel writing mode, and trying to stop being so self-critical.

The biggest challenge at the moment? I’m all about plot and not about character. I’m already having a hard time getting “into” Maddie, which is ironic as I’m moving from a multi-POV to a single-POV. You’d think it’d be easier getting back. But character development is slower in these situations, and rather than tell everything, I’m trying to show. And show more slowly.

It’s an odd place to be in, truth be told, as the characters are usually what drive my writing. Although the 4K is far and beyond what I expected for the first day, it’s still with tentative enthusiasm that I temper my success. Word count is never my problem, it’s motivation. It’s keeping going. It’s sustaining. I think people concentrate so much on word count with NaNo that sometimes they forget the other, and to me the most important, lesson. It’s about keeping it going. It’s about learning to apply the frenzied writing of November later on in the year, next month, two years down the road, whatever. I know from painful experience that you can have 50K if you want it, but sometimes it’s not the right 50K. Sometimes only 20K is good, or none of it is good, or all of it is good. Sometimes 50K is just the beginning…

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