The End is Nigh

First, an apology. I promised weekly updates, and last week I failed to deliver. Continuing the ‘not going as I expected’ theme of NaNo2015, the slump hit me at the end of Week 2, and I decided that, when I could make myself write at all, the novel was the priority.

I fell just short of the 11666 target in Week 2, but still had about a day’s writing in hand from the previous week’s Double Up day.

Screenshot 2015-11-14 21.36.56
No, I still haven’t decided on a title.

In Week 3, despite being under target on a couple of days, I pushed myself to hit 11666 for the week, putting my running total at 37079, so about 2000 words above where I needed to be at this point.

Enough of the counting; I’ve reached that part of NaNoWriMo where I’m fed up of my story, and would much rather eat Jaffa Cakes, and play videogames. The planning I did in Week 1 has been helpful here, as I have at least some idea of what needs to happen. Changing the POV character has helped, and I devoted an hour to adding in rough versions of scenes I felt were missing from what I’d already written.

I’ve also realised that this novel will not be finished in 50000 words, so Week 4 will focus on deciding when to write scenes in full, and when to rough things out to make sure I get to the end. The latter is a technique which Chris Baty recommends in No Plot? No Problem!. I’m also reminded of Saladin Ahmed’s tweet which suggested writing the first three chapters and the final chapter first, then building a bridge between them; advice which I may adapt for the final week. The danger in not writing an ending in November, is that this becomes a novel I have to finish, rather than a novel I have to edit, and it will be harder to motivate myself to go back to it after a well-earned break in December.

On the reading front, I’m still following 30 Days in the Word Mines, but have also finished The Writer’s Journey, and The Mabinogion. The Writer’s Journey is another of those ‘every writer must read’ books, and this was my third attempt at finishing it. I found it quite dry, and I think only the fact that I was in the middle of a writing project got me through it. That said there are some useful ideas in there. You may be thinking that The Mabinogion breaks my ‘no-fiction during NaNo’ rule (really it’s more of a guideline), but as a transcription of oral tales with roots in British history, it has little in common with what I’m writing, at least in terms of style.

The plan for next week is simple: hit 50000 words, and write the end of my novel. See you on the other side.