I reached the 50k mark for my NaNovel on Saturday. It’s the earliest I’ve ever hit 50k in six years of NaNoing, so that’s something of an accomplishment. I’m at 53k now and I still have quite a bit to go before this draft is anywhere near done, but that’s ok.

I think one of the things I like about NaNoWriMo is that not only does it give you a deadline, which is magical, but it gives you bragging rights and fun icons. It is like getting a gold star in kindergarten, it is simple but extremely happy-making. I cannot even say how much I adore the Viking theme of this year’s winner icons. They are extra special triumphant.

I enjoyed this NaNo more than some previous years. Maybe I just hit upon the fact that I am especially loquacious when writing in first person (though only part of the novel is in first person, those parts did go very fast) or maybe I’ve just had a lot of practice, but I didn’t hit the “I hate my novel” phase this time around, as I usually do somewhere in week three. I had plenty of phases where I wasn’t sure where everything was going (I’m still not sure where everything is going, actually) but nothing that made me want to give up entirely.

I am going to keep writing, I want to see how much I can get done before the end of November since there are still several days left. I am, in a general sense, getting better at finishing what I start and I think for the writing side of that NaNoWriMo has been invaluable. I suppose I have Chris Baty to thank for that, so thank you Chris. You are a Viking in the best of literary Viking ways.

writing your own myths

I am just over 40k for NaNoWriMo. I should be able to get to 45k by the end of the week and 50k at some point over the weekend, which is kind of excellent.

Not so excellent, depending on how you look at it, is the fact that I am pretty sure I am not even halfway through the novel. It seems to want to be a lot more complicated than I had anticipated, and characters I’d thought were secondary are insisting on quite a bit more attention than I had intended giving them. And there are several plot loops that are making their presence known that I having figured out yet.

It seems to be pretty sure of itself at this point, so I am just going to follow it along and see where it wants to go. After five (sheesh!) years of NaNoing I am pretty familiar with how I write and what works and what doesn’t, so while I won’t say that it’s easier I think it’s less frustrating. I don’t know who is drawing the doors in back alleys in New Orleans, and that’s ok. I’m not sure who Eleanor’s grandfather was, exactly, and that’s ok. I am curious to see where it goes more than I am nervous about not knowing. It will figure itself out, and mostly I just need to stay out of its way.

It has ended up being something of a Persephone story, and a bit of a Wonderland story with a great many Alices. Only one Persephone, though.

halfway there

So I have hit the halfway mark for NaNoWriMo. Lookit the nice little progress meter:

26132 / 50000 words. 52% done!

And I’m not entirely sure where it is going. I had grandiose aspirations of doing 75k this month but I really don’t think I’m up for it. I might see how far I can get beyond 50k since I’m on pace to hit it early, but I haven’t decided yet.

Not that I’m feeling bad about it. I rather like it so far. I’m learning interesting things about my writing style, having done this so many times. I am not an outliner, I am not even much of a planner. I think I like the surprises that come with not planning, with not knowing what’s going to happen next.

I seem to start with location, and then find different ways to explore it. Approaching it from different angles, telling bits of its story through different characters. My location for this one is, at least, in very good shape. And I have a thread of something or other flowing through it that is plotish if not fully grown plot yet. There are holes in it, of course, but there’s still a good long way to go.

Am guessing that it’ll end up much like the circus did, a 100k or so draft that can be reshaped into something tighter and more coherent. I do have a tendency to ramble off in different directions but I usually learn something or find something to bring back with me.

I think that’s my favorite part about the rough draft stage, that so much of it is exploration and I never know what might turn up on the next page.

We went for a walk this morning because the weather is beautiful and the leaves are mostly fallen in piles of yellow and red and orange on the ground. It is bright and sunny but breezy, and we decided to walk longer than we usually do. Instead of stopping somewhere around Pickering Wharf we wandered further down Derby Street, past the House of Seven Gables and down near the Salem Ferry.

Why was I unaware that there is a house covered in magical statues and creatures and contraptions near the Salem Ferry?

It is marvelous. There are birds made from horseshoes and sea serpents fashioned from iron and rope. Creatures fashioned from driftwood and metal. I was very glad I had decided to bring my camera.

I love this city. There are more photos (and also photos of leaves and pumpkins) on my Flickr photostream.

I have been meaning to post here for days and keep getting distracted. The time gets away from me, I get distracted by a hundred things. I wonder where the day went, and then the week. Tricksy time, going ever onward without stopping. Apologies. Here is a picture of birdies to make up for it.

Salem Hallowe’en was something, as usual. We wandered around downtown in late afternoon and then came home before it got too too busy. I sort of immediately fell into NaNoWriMo and forgot about a lot of other things (I still have stuff to put on Etsy that needs to be photographed) but that’s ok. Am just under 15k right now. I’ve been considering going for 75k instead of 50k but that might be too much for one month. Maybe.

Spent the last 24 hours or so going from anxious to bouncy to elated and there was far too much candy and wine involved. Kind of tired today, but still happy. Need to get back to novelling and other stuff but history unfolding in front of one’s eyes is a teensy bit distracting. I am sad about some of the state-by-state decisions, particularly in California, but the good outweighs the bad.

I love that Cute Overload is taking suggestions on what kind of puppy Sasha and Malia should get. I vote Corgi, myself.

I am happy and hopeful. I am enjoying writing my NaNovel. I like that outside my window everything is falling leaves and nicely gray skies. Warm fuzzies and tea.