And now comes the final push. With the end in sight (or at least the 50,000 word count goal), I sat down and went to work. Had my highest word count day yet at 5000 words (yes, exactly 5000), and that felt good.
90″ 1866, 40″ 1303, 70″ 1831 (200″ 5000 words)
I didn’t know where to start with the new chapter, even with my very rough outline. Maybe Hemingway was on to something with his advice: “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next.”
25″ 770 words
The end was clearly in sight with less than 4000 words to hit the 50,000 word goal. So I just kept going at it, putting more words down, moving the story forward. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have word count goals for motivation (just 3000 words to go, now 2500…), as opposed to a ‘just keep plugging away until it’s done’.
So I reached 50,000 words (woo hoo!) and ‘won’ Nanowrimo with a mostly pantsed mystery novel. It feels good to reach the goal (50,000 words in a month), but the novel isn’t finished—I probably have another ten chapters or so to go, which means 15,000-20,000 words, and then there will be the cleaning/fleshing out scenes, so my best guess is it will end up around 80,000 total words for a finished publishable novel.
I’m making good progress and the story is coming along. It is not a difficult pace to keep up, especially if I didn’t have full-time work happening at the same time, and I’m not even getting into a discussion about the chaos that the pandemic is wreaking on my life (mostly reflected in the ever-fluctuating full-time work schedule), or the lack of house projects and cleaning that I’ve done. Although I have to say that the house stuff could be more related to the pandemic than Nanowrimo. And I realized that it’s all too easy to blame the pandemic for everything, when at the same time the pandemic also made some writing-life aspects easier (not having a 2.5 hour commute some days certainly bolstered my available time or writing).
80″ 1784, 75″ 1775 (155″ 3559 words)
With the Nanowrimo goal hit and my “Winner!” certificate downloaded, I spent the rest of the usual writing time revisiting where I’m at with the next publishing project (a collection of the “Seven Territories” stories in print and ebook with an awesome cover!) and researching potential writing software.
This month showed me (at times rather painfully) that I need to change my process, especially when dealing with novels that have multiple subplots, and especially especially when dealing with mysteries (all those clues!). So of course I had to dive down multiple rabbit holes researching different options for software that make my life easier. Would the time have been better put to actually writing? I honestly don’t know. I’m just hoping that if I can get a process sorted out that is reliable and works for me, then I can start moving forward, and maybe even make the writing happen faster.
0″ for 0 words, but a fair bit of research (2 hours, and not counted towards Nano time)
TOTALS: 2825″ (47 hours) and 50,372 words