I have no excuse as to why I am behind on my word count. I could probably say something about how I’ve had a cold, or have been redecorating the house or Christmas shopping, but those things have only made up about 50% of my leisure time. As of right now, my word count is 18,983 – I’m not even halfway towards my target! The truth is that I don’t think strict word count deadlines are for me, and I’m OK with that. I have managed years of getting essays in on time and on the word count, but when the words rely on the fictional world I have created in my head, it seems a lot more challenging.
Nevertheless, I’ve learnt a few lessons about my story this November. So even though I may only reach 25k by the 30th, I’m still going to consider NaNoWriMo a success.
Firstly, I have discovered that I write my best material at night. I had a wonderful evening last week when I said to O, “I’m going to do a late night to boost my word count – will you join me?” So, after stocking up on writing nibbles (Toblerone, cheese savouries and Pringles), we set up for the long haul. O doesn’t actually write, but he played Dragon Age, which offered a good musical backdrop to my fantasy novel! I wrote over 4,000 words that evening, and finished the first half of my novel by about 2am. I’ve been working on my novel for years, rewriting and rewriting the opening chapters , and to have a completed first half felt amazing.
I also realised that even if I had finished the first draft of my novel, that it wouldn’t have hit 50,000 words anyway. In fact, I would have been lucky to hit 35,000. Either this means that The Soul Market was always destined to be a novella, or once it is completed I need to add some more scenes, share it with my friends and find out what is missing.
So I am disappointed, yes, but this month has refueled my passion for novel writing, and in that sense alone I can only consider NaNoWriMo 2015 to have been a success.
Has anyone else struggled with the word count? Any writing tips from budding writers?