Well, week two of NaNoWriMo has come and gone, and my word count is currently sitting at 23,714. So, yes, I’m still going strong, but while week one was driven by enthusiasm, week two became more about dogged determination.
The first part of the second week went fine. I was still tackling Izzy’s first major incursion into her parallel world, and I had most of it mapped out in my mind already, though most of the descriptive passages about the underground world she had wandered into will probably have to be rewritten at some point. But in the lull in the story that followed, I began to have some doubts about the whole thing.
Now, I assumed that I would happen at some point. Writing a novel is not a small undertaking, and having gone through it all once before (over a much longer period of time) I kind of knew what to expect. First, I noticed that the number of inconsistencies and missing details about the protagonist’s personality and life were mounting up. Where were her friends? What hobbies and pastimes did she have? Do kids text, IM, Twitter, or Facebook? Then I began to realize that one particular plot point that I had threaded into the storyline was becoming more and more of a hindrance, and it wasn’t something I could easily rip out.
Of course, these things can be fixed in the second draft, but as the problems mount up, there is a risk that it all becomes quite demoralizing, and you can begin to wonder if the story will hold together at all in the long run. Fortunately, I have seen how much better a second, and especially a third draft can make a novel (yeah, it is a lot of work), so after a worry session or two, I was able to put most thoughts of impending implosion aside.
Probably more debilitating is the realization that there is still a long way to go, especially since I don’t believe 50,000 words is going get me to the end of the novel. It’s probably going to be more like 70,000 to 80,000 words when all is said and done. That’s been leading to feelings of “I can’t be bothered with all this” on a couple of occasions, and I have had to push myself quite hard to sit down and keep writing.
Which brings me nicely round to the thing that has really helped me get through the week — Austin’s Sit Down, Shut Up and Write Meetup Group. Thanks to Suzanne, who started the group a couple of years ago, and the other organizers, I have had a place to go, several times during the week, with the sole intent of doing exactly what the group’s name suggests — sitting down, shutting up, and writing. I must have written at least three or four thousand words there last week. And, of course, the chance to chat with others who are also doing NaNo is a great source of support and encouragement.
There is just one other fly in the ointment. My one and only laptop has developed an intermittent problem where, if I push the screen back much beyond 90 degrees, it goes blank. I’ve seen this type of problem before, and it’s likely that it will keep getting worse until the screen stops working altogether. Fortunately the warranty doesn’t expire until December 2nd, so I’m hoping to eke things out until the end of the month and NaNoWriMo is over, but it could be a close run thing!
Until next week, happy writing.