The true alchemists don’t change lead into gold; they change the world into words. – William H. Gass
I hit 50,000 words yesterday! Four days early! I was rather excited. I had been one day ahead all month, then over Thanksgiving break it kept creeping up, and the last few days my word count for each day got higher; yesterday I wrote over 3,000 words. It helped that I have gotten near the end where the plot ideas are coming easily.
The beginning is usually pretty easy because I usually have at least some written out in my head, and the end, while I don’t have it written out, I usually have detailed plans for, so it’s often easy, too. I have the most problems in the middle of a story, because that is where my plots get somewhat thin and I have to figure things out as I go. Still, this year there were not many days where I had to sit and force myself to crank out another hundred words before going back to Minesweeper, while it seemed like there were a lot of those last year.
Overall, it felt like this year went more smoothly than last year. I did not seem to be a lot more tired than usual this time, and there were only two days where I just barely hit 1,667 words, and on one of those days I was sick. Although I am not quite as in love with my characters this year, the story came much more smoothly. I think that was partly because of how much time was supposed to pass. Last year’s story took place over quite a few years; this one all occurs in just over a year. (Except I did not plan it out very well, because my main character is currently languishing in a dungeon for almost four months. It’s supposed to be more like two weeks. I’ll have to do some restructuring, but that should not be too difficult.)
The story did change quite a bit over the month. It was supposed to be mainly a solitary quest for my main character, Ralph. (Yes, his name is Ralph. That was not really my choice; he needed a name that started with an “r”, and I went through a ton of them, but he still insisted on Ralph.) Over the course of his travels, however, he picked up two companions who I did not know existed when I started: Jacob who was originally just a tossed-out name because I need a minor character, and a dragon (whose name is still somewhat undecided). Jacob needs some character development because I had no real chance to think that through, but he and the dragon still made things much more interesting.
Since the story is not finished, I plan to keep writing every day until I get to the end. I hope to get that done by the end of the week. I know from experience that if I don’t finish while I’m in the middle of it, I’m unlikely to find the motivation to do so later.
I ordered my winner’s shirt today! I can’t wait to get it. I really like them this year. They have the same Venn diagram as the picture on the right side of this page put on a black shirt. I hope it comes quickly.
To close out, here is a sonnet I wrote early this year about NaNoWriMo (made-up words and all):
November was a hectic month for me
And many other crazy novellers
Who took up pen and keyboard – for no fee! –
And set to dueling plots and characters.
A plethora of sugar was consumed
Across the world through thirty long, late nights
As inner editors morosely loomed
And dragons laughed and heroes wouldn’t fight.
We trudged the paths of adjectives and nouns,
We let our heroes offer dragons peace,
We watched our word counts grow by steps or bounds,
Ignored our pillows, and refused to cease.
We learned to set our cautions to the wing
And thus completely mastered novelling.