NaNoWriMo Update: Day 12

Little did I know what I was getting into when I
jumped into the NaNoWriMo pool. On the plus side, I’m still showering and we
have clean underwear. On the down side, I’ve gone through more than one “dark
night of the soul.” I pondered whether or not I wanted to share this with you,
but we’ve been through a lot together, so here goes.


I’m very proud of my commitment to this challenge
having logged over 21,000 words so far. I have written every day but one, and
that was due to meetings and a stomach flu. Most days I’ve written more than
the requisite 1,667 words. What a good feeling to be ahead of the game and see
on my little chart on the official NaNoWriMo site that my word count tops the
straight line that is “par.”

Progress v.2

Yes, my word count is piling up, but last weekend I
realized that while I had all these great scenes and was reuniting characters
from The Cavanaugh House (a popular
request from readers) NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. Yeah, I had a little bump in the
road (you’ll get that joke when you read the opening scene) but my protagonist
was not in danger. There was no risk for her. No threat. Ergo, no story. I’ve
read that many NaNoWriMoers begin to hate their books—or at least drown in
despair—at around day 15. As I’ve said, I’m an overachiever. I hit the wall at
day eight.


If you’ve followed my blog, you’ve met my muse,
Boris. I knew by Sunday night that I had to stop worrying and trust my muse.
This drought had happened in previous books, I reasoned. And now it’s happening
in this one. I was encouraged late last week when writing a scene and
the whole story turned around because of a crazy “What if” question that I tried out. Then it all went flat
again. Sunday evening Rich reminded me of Stephen King’s quote, “Kill your
darlings, kill your darlings, kill all your little darlings.” This was after
all a mystery. Where was the body? Well, I can’t just randomly kill off a
character in some spurt of gratuitous violence. “Trust Boris,” I kept repeating.
Monday dawned with some new ideas and a whole different direction for the book.
I felt invigorated and ready to get back to work. Thank you,Boris.


I’m not trying to sound coy, but I do have a
process. The first thing I do each writing day is read my previous day’s work
aloud. It’s a great revision/editing tool. But with NaNoWriMo I feel like this
crazed woman who runs around screeching, “I Must Write!” No time to read. The
blessing of my weekend doldrums is that nothing was coming so I decided to
read my rough draft. Hmmmm. This book’s not so bad after all. Kill off a couple of darlings
and this could be a mystery.

How is your NaNoWriMo challenge coming along? Leave me a comment. I’d
love to know I’m not alone on this crazy roller coaster ride. 

6 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Update: Day 12

  1. My focus is a novella, but seems like my characters are running in different directions each day. This happens with most drafts, but the process usually takes longer. Amazing word count progress by the way.

    • Thanks, Lola! I'm very blessed to have plenty of time to write. I know what you mean about your characters…my are doing the same thing! We'll wrangle them in – who am I kidding? They'll wrangle us in LOL

  2. My book was weird to begin with, but I had to laugh out loud at some of the stuff my heroine did in my last writing session. I'll have to kill a few darlings, too (probably more than a few, since this is my first attempt at a mystery) but the ride so far has been fun. 21,000 Words is amazing progress – great job and happy writing!!

    • Kristen, I've been so busy writing that I've just found your comment! I know what you mean. I feel like I've been writing in circles the first two weeks, but it seems to be coming together slowly – at last! Best of luck with your mystery. You're making great progress, too!

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