* Week Three – Almost There! *
It’s the third week of my inaugural NaNoWriMo experience, and I’m ecstatic to report that I finished the week with a 49,060 word count – only 940 words away from the 50,000 word “winning” target! (I actually paused in my writing at this point, as I knew I was in for a busy weekend and wanted to savor that moment when I passed the 50,000 word milestone.)
Perhaps the thing that has me the most incredulous, though, is that the story I am telling will certainly not be concluded anywhere near the 50,000 word threshold! And so I fully intend to keep writing throughout November, using NaNoWriMo as an impetus to Just Keep Going. I’m not sure if I’ll finish by November 30, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be pretty darned close. The only thing that might keep me from “The End” is that I haven’t exactly figured out the specifics of a major plot point that is part of the climax of the story. The gist, yes – the specifics, no. I thought I had them figured out when I started on November 1, but during the writing process I became dissatisfied with my original scenario. I’m not going to stress about it, though, not until I get to that point (which is one of the lessons I’ve learned this month – don’t let the unknown future keep you from writing the here and now). I mean, who knows? The question marks may just resolve themselves as I get closer to that point!
The big change for me this week was that I finally started sharing with others that I was participating in NaNoWriMo (other than you folks here) and even divulging a bit of the plot line. This was a huge leap of faith for me – as if telling people face to face what I was doing actually made it more “real”, and not just a figment of my imagination. It’s only been a few people I’ve told: some of the folks I see at the dog park, my sister down in Iowa, a local author I talk to occasionally when he’s in town.
Invariable, the initial reaction was “I’d love to read it!” and then I’d have to explain that this first draft won’t be seen by anybody but me, and if the story ever does see the light of day, it will be very, very different from what I’ve got “on paper” now. But my most cherished reaction came from a gentleman who is a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, who has written 15 books and edited 20 more. When I shared with him how I had discovered that this draft was being written not for an audience, but for me, he smiled, and nodded, and told me that that’s how it should be. He said there would be time later to work it into something I would want others to read, but that an author should first write for themselves; that the most important thing when one starts to write is to love the act of writing; the love of the story will come later.
And yes, I am loving the act of writing. I was dubious at the start of this great experiment, but after three weeks, I can say that with absolute conviction.
Eight more days to go!
~ Sharon Browning