In my limited experience, these two things are well-paired.
I hit 60,000 words last night and completed Part Two of what could be a four-part book. I initially thought it would be three parts, but the characters are telling me otherwise. I’ve strayed so far from the outline I wrote four weeks ago that there’s no point in looking at it anymore. The characters are in charge and I’m doing my best to accommodate them. Like everything else I try to control, it has slipped out of my hands.
Last night’s bout of writing is a great example. I was skating along in a chapter, going where I was being led, when the scene suddenly ended. It didn’t end where I originally planned, but the character made it clear that it was time to stop and shift. So I did. (She’s a bit bossy.)
Likewise, my main character surprised me last night with a bold move and I let her roll with it. I couldn’t say no.
In other news, I’m on the verge of completing my last assignment for Literary Theory and I’m thoroughly relieved about it. It was a required class, but it couldn’t have been more out of my realm of interest and ability. You know what’s not well-paired? Novel writing and Literary Theory.
Have you missed the boys? I’ve not forsaken them completely. Here they are, all three of them:
I’ve hit it. I knew it was coming and today I ran smack into it with my eyes wide open.
The Wall showed up at 49,975 words. My story is at its midpoint, so this novel has a long way to go. It feels a lot like when I ran a marathon in 2009 and crossed the 13.1 mark after two hours. Theoretically, I could’ve been done at 13.1. I’d already run a few half marathons so that felt like a natural stopping point. But, I’d signed up to do a full marathon, all 26.2 miles of it, and I was only halfway done.
There was the Wall.
It isn’t that I don’t know how the story will continue or even how it will end. It’s that I’m exhausted from juggling everything in the air and trying to write at the same time.
The momentum of writing three thousand words every night after the boys go to bed has waned. Now I want to lay in bed and watch reruns of Mad Men.
The thrill of getting in a few hundred words first thing in the morning has fizzled. Now I want scroll through Pinterest and think about Christmas.
The boys are tired of my absentmindedness too. Are you gonna do school work again tonight? How much longer until you’re done?
That’s a great question. I’d like to be done right now, tonight, so I can turn my attention to the holidays and wrapping up the boys’ school assignments for the semester. Unfortunately, we’re behind and I’m in over my head. I feel like the living example of “Women can have it all, just not at the same time.”
For today, I think I’ll lean up against the Wall and take a nap. I might write tonight, but I might not. There are nine days left in November and I’m determined to finish. If anything, I’m only 25 words from hitting 50,ooo. So in that regard, I’m all set.
As of last night, I’ve hit 45,700+ words of the required 50,000. The catch is that I’m only halfway through the plot, so I’m looking at an 80,000-word novel at least. My goal is still to finish by the end of the month, but our creative writing professor has allowed us until December 13 to complete the project. That’s really good news and it means I’m set to accomplish the terms of NaNoWriMo.
In other news, our house is still a haven for ladybugs, particularly in the master bedroom. A few have even wandered out into other areas of the house. Seriously, aren’t they supposed to be gone by now? Or are we just special?
Major has been in fits lately. He’s so bored, and I don’t blame him. I’m not running with him as much as I had been this summer and early fall, but frankly, I’m busy. I’m not even running as much as I’d like to, but that’s the deal with November. Major obviously didn’t get the memo.
Hence, he’s chasing his tail wondering when the heck I’ll show him attention again.
This is our neighborhood. Well, sort of. It’s the space behind our actual neighborhood where I like to walk Major. Recently, it’s been in this space that I’ve created much of novel’s plot. It’s nearly four miles to the end and back, and the time it takes to circle around depends on whether I’m walking or running, or if Major gets sidetracked by squirrels and curious cows.
East Tennessee is most beautiful right now, so I thought you should see it. NaNoWriMo Word Count to date: 20,350 (out of 50,000)
Giving proper credit, this mantra came from an article in Runner’s World called “Run and Retweet.” Runners were asked to give their best advice in 140 characters or less and I loved just about every one of them. Run the mile you are in. Never make decisions while going up a hill. Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a friend. And more like those.
One Tweet, which I originally applied to running, has become my personal mantra for November.
Saying “everything forward” on a ten mile run makes total sense, but it also applies when you’re nearing 15,000 words of a 50,000-word novel. Just keep writing. Keep going. However you can. Everything forward.
This photo was taken in October 2009 when I wrote a story for Amarillo Magazine about hot air ballooning. It was my first and only experience in a hot air balloon and it was so beautiful that I haven’t forgotten a single detail. The thing about navigating a hot air balloon is that you can’t. There is no steering wheel, no brake, and certainly no air bags. You turn on the flame and go up. The wind does the rest.
I’m not sure what direction I’m going with this novel as far as the whole project is concerned, but my plot is moving forward and my word count, as of last night, is 13,729. Everything is moving forward, and as long as I’ve got a fire in my soul to fuel it, I’ll keep going that direction.