Eight days in and I have 16,063 words. NaNoWriMo has these nifty widgets that keep track of your live progress, but this image is saved manually so it doesn’t change and serves as a record.
So shortly after I wrote my previous entry, I spent a few hours writing to myself in Notepad, trying to psych myself into some kind of plan. I wrote to myself dissecting all the reasons I did and didn’t want to pursue my various half-baked ideas and ranted to myself about how I ought to be writing a novel instead of writing about why I’m not writing a novel. This went on for a good two thousand words and two or three hours until it was past five in the morning. I roamed around the NaNo forums and browsed through their “adoptable” topics: Adopt a title! Adopt a plot! Adopt a subplot! Adopt a name! Adopt an opening line! An ending! A place! A secret! A quirk! A plot twist! And so on. Many were ridiculous, but if nothing else, they force you to kick around some new ideas.
So for all my sleep deprivation and some weird Adopt-a-stuffs inspiration, I eventually started writing just before dawn and crapped out some five hundred words because I told myself I wouldn’t sleep until I got that much. Unsurprisingly, the novel’s working title is currently “Five-Thirty in the Goddamn Morning.”
Six years after I started making NaNoWriMo an annual event, I think I’m finally tackling this with that intended spirit of wild abandon. Forcing myself to continue to take this on on top of a thousand other things this year means making sacrifices, and it certainly won’t be my word count that suffers. I finished in 2006 and 2007 but not last year. No way I’m making this a losing streak. So finally, finally, I am writing without a real plan. (And any plans I try to form seem to force things in a completely different way than what I intended anyway.) I am writing a story I have not had in my head for months and months if not years and years. I am writing a story where the characters are new to me. I am writing a story where every time I feel like I’m running out of momentum, I run around the NaNo “Plot Doctoring” forums until I find something else to write about. And hell, I’m writing a genre I never thought I’d touch: Young Adult (YA). I mean, really. Where did that come from?
Naturally, not having a plan means that I’ll have a lot of editing to do later, but that’s not the point, is it? At least I’ll have something to edit. Honestly, I already know that I’ll most likely end up pruning away much of what I’ve already written, and I might be rearranging events later so they aren’t so haphazardly strung together. Right now, as I’m still not quite sure I have a plot, there’s no backbone to hold things together. But I can worry about that later. In the meantime… whatever?
The only plan for now is to finish around November 25th so I can enjoy my Thanksgiving before throwing stuff into a suitcase and flying off to Japan for two weeks. This puts my personal daily word goal at 2,000 words rather than most others’ 1,667 words. And as such, I’m right on target at ~16,000. Tomorrow, I’ll need to be at 18,000 before I sleep. So far so good. Too good. I am definitely expecting some major writing blocks, certain rage, characters expectantly dying (oh, wait, that’s already happened), and angsting over Twitter before all this is over.