NaNoWriMo — The Final Stretch

To everyone on the final lap of National Novel Writing Month:

You are doing great. Keep it up. Your goal is to keep writing through November 30. If you are ahead or on pace for 50,000, that’s great. But the goal, either way, is to write what you can. Push yourself on word count for the rest of the week. Worry about revision and editing after November 30. Let your inner muse run amok and get onto paper whatever flows. You might need to toss your outline. You might have to jump ahead in the timeline (or travel back). You might need a new point of view you never considered before. Anything goes for now. Fix it later.

You will find tons of encouraging and practical advice on the NaNoWriMo dashboard. Personally, I have not always reached 50,000 words. And sometimes, even at 50,000 words, I have not hit “the end.” One first draft had to exceed 120,000 words before the story presented itself as a whole that I had only barely glimpsed until I got there. But even if you didn’t hit the halfway mark, what you have is more than when November started. That alone is a win.

This year I hit the end at about 48,000 words. It was nice to reach it, but then what? I was 2,000 words short. I moved on to an epilogue, and then a second, follow-up epilogue. Those epilogues taught me something about the underlying current of the story and will be key drivers in my revision of the story. The point is a message I’ve received from many writers over the years—your mind does not tap out. Upon reaching the end of what you consciously envisioned, pushing a little further puts your unconscious mind to work. The connections and observations you’ve drawn under the surface will reveal themselves—must reveal themselves—as you tackle those final blank pages and struggle to provide content.

So hang in there. Keep writing. You are doing great, and congratulations for your participation and your draft.

This entry was posted in NaNoWriMo, Romance, Science Fiction, Work in Progress, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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