On November 1st, I signed a pledge to write a 50,000 word novel by November 30th.
I did not invent this ridiculous deadline. I am joining thousands of writers in National Novel Writing Month. The idea being that you just get out of your own way and WRITE. No endless plotting and planning. No stalling to edit. No being paralyzed by perfection.
1,600 words a day. Sit down and type.
I'm halfway through and 24,852 words in and I'm exhausted.
I started out excited. I had a concept I was excited about. I had done a modicum of character research and planning. I thought I had a plot.
About five days in, I realized I did not, in fact, have a plot so my characters kept meeting, talking, then running away again. I could set up a scene. I could introduce everyone, but then they had nothing to do.
I think I've gotten a little bit better but, honestly, I'm not sure. I've got plot holes and missing context and bad dialogue.
But, I also have what could be described as a book!
More importantly, I'm learning lessons I never would have learned without sitting down and just STARTING. I'm learning keeping characters realistic AND interesting is a challenge. I'm learning that real life people are a great source of inspiration but not a great source of action. I'm learning that every thousand words or so I write something and think, "Wow, I wasn't expecting that but it's really good!"
I'm learning that writing 2,000 words or so a day stretches my creative muscles far beyond where I thought they could reach. It leaves me exhausted in the best possible way.
Two. More. Weeks.