NaNoWriMo – Week 1

After about a full week, the word count of my NaNoWriMo project is resting at 16’095, well ahead of the projected 13’336-word average for 8 days in. If you follow me on Twitter (@SturkTim), you may have seen that I’ve been tweeting daily word count updates.

Despite the relatively high count, the novel itself still feels a bit. . . uncertain. Tonally, for one; where I intended it to be Adult, it feels a bit more like a New Adult book (if you believe in the value of that age category; I’m aware that there has been some debate).

Also, it feels at once faster and slower pace than my last novel, which is weird. I think it has to do in part with the fact that (this first part, at least) is spaced over a longer time period, and in part with the fact that there is so far much less urgency. So far many of the chapters are built around character, rather than plot.

In future revisions I may go back and look for ways to raise the stakes even in these early sections, though I’m hard-pressed to think how I might do that. That’s a concern for the future, though; the beauty of NaNoWriMo is such that you can leave worrying about issues like these for the second draft, focusing for now only on getting words down on the page. Indeed, I’ve already made some notes for lesser changes I would like to make, and then rather than make them right away, I’ve pushed through and continued writing as if they had been made already.

I think that’s a valuable method, and my main advice for anyone who’s also doing NaNoWriMo–or even writing a novel outside of November. I think in many cases, especially for early authors, it is best to finish a project even if it feels like it is broken or just not working for whatever reason.

In short, week 1 of NaNoWriMo has gone pretty well. It helps that I haven’t had any major university exams or assignments, of course; we’ll see how well I do once they start ramping up over the following month.

-T.E.S.

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