So for the month of November I got just over 11,000 words written, which makes me exceedingly happy. I spent this evening going over the manuscript from beginning to middle, to reconnect myself with the story, because this is my “experiment” book, in that I was trying to write straight through. I think I did myself a disservice, to be honest. I pooped out of NaNoWriMo because I lost the connection with my characters I normally have as I work through a book from start to finish several times.
What do I mean by that? Well, for starters, I don’t plot. I’ve tried it, and every single time the story craps out on me. Probably because I enjoy finding out what’s going on with the characters as it’s happening. Part of my “process” is going back to reread and tweak chapters as I go. Because of that, I’m always connected to my characters’ motivations, their physical appearance, all that jazz, because the story is alive in my head. And because I’m constantly tweaking, by the time I write “The End”, it’s not a first draft, but rather something that can go out to my critique partners immediately for their poking and prodding.
In this case, I lost sight of my characters and the plot itself. I’d written several really good red herrings into it I completely forgot about, as well as some characterizations I need to capitalize on as I finish the book.
Right now I’m at 38,000 in what’s probably going to be a 75,000-ish story, so just over halfway there. But as I read through the first half tonight, I took a page and a half of notes of things I needed to ensure were built into the last half, in addition to beginning to firm up how the last book in the trilogy was going to start, and where my initial thoughts were as to motive, etc. Didn’t need to do that a ton in the first book, but to make the middle book important and relevant in it’s own right, I need to make sure the folks populating it are doing the right, logical things that’ll resonate not only in this book, but in Lunatic Fringe.
If nothing else, NaNoWriMo taught me that it can be a fun challenge, and one I’ll take every year, just to dynamite my ass out of complacency, but at about Day 10, I’ll be going back to reread what I’ve written!