NaNoWriMo 2014 – Day 14

Today's update is hosted by a photo of Herman Melville, folding his arms as if someone has asked him to eat Rice Pudding for dessert.
Today’s update is hosted by a photo of Herman Melville, folding his arms as if someone has asked him to eat Rice Pudding for dessert.

We’re almost at the halfway point.

It’s a scary time. Particularly if you’ve only just hit the 1/34 mark like some of us. *shame*

This year has been a very different NaNoWriMo for me. I usually make a really good start, drop off a bit in the middle when life gets in the way, then make a mad dash for the finish line in Week 4. This year I started behind and I’ve stayed behind. I’m not falling any further back, and if I keep this pace then I can probably still make my sudden sprint to the end, but I can’t figure out why I’m working so slowly. Part of it is the rest of my life, I work more hours than I did this time last year, Christmas is coming and I’m trying to get more of that stuff done in advance. I understand all that, but I think overconfidence is a factor too. Finishing on time two years in a row has made me cocky, and I’m not sure I’ll really get on top of things until the situation gets desperate.

This year’s novel is really reminding me that there’s a big difference between a plot and a premise. (Perhaps a subject for a blog post in the future.) I started this book with an idea I loved, but in practice, I’m writing what currently seems like quite a boring book. Of course, you never judge a story by a first draft, but come revision time it is going to be a lot more work than I was planning. On the plus side, I feel I have matured a lot as a writer since last year. The work I’m producing feels immediately better. Less rambling, less awkward. When it comes time to return to it, I’ll be spending a lot less time just rephrasing sentences that no longer sound right.

What I may do is approach the book aggressively in January. Cut like an angry dressmaker until every wrinkle is discarded and then give it a quick rewrite. The word count will drop, but I should have a shorter, tighter story left over. Still, I’m getting ahead of myself.

How are you guys doing?