NaNo Update – Day 20

NaNo week 3 is drawing to a close. NaNo week 4 is upon us. What are you learning so far? 

For a lot of people, this is the point where they’ve given up.

Maybe that sense of failure is starting to kick in. Remember, there are no rules for NaNo. Not really. Don’t kick yourself for not making some goal that was put out there in the universe. Keep adding words until that last day. Stop worrying about that 50,000 if that number has started to feel too heavy. Instead, focus on writing something every day for the last few days until it’s over. You can do this, you can add words, you can chase that dream. 

For still another crop of people, it’s still working right now.

The words are coming out and the graph continues to look like it’s perfectly on track. The funny thing is, for a lot of those people, it still doesn’t feel like success. I think it’s because we see that group who finished their 50,000 early and we know we could’ve done better, faster. That’s just silly. We’re making the progress we set for ourselves and we should just own it. If you’re one of the people who is on track but has no buffer (extra words) keep chugging away. Little by little, that’s how we do this. You can do this. 

Lastly, there’s the people who are already done.

They’ve hit that 50,000 already. AWESOME! I’m going to challenge all of you who are in this boat to keep writing. How many can you write in November? How high should that target be for you? Push it, challenge yourself, you can do it. 

Now for an update on my own project. 

As of this morning, I’m in that second group. I’m pretty much right on the goal line here, making the right progress every day. I have no wiggle room, but I’m not behind. I’ve written 35,695 words so far on the project. 

A screenshot from my stats page on

Regina, my dark MC, is fully established by this point. You understand who she is and what she does for a living. You understand the careful balance of her life and how much joy it truly brings her. You’ve met a few of the people she considered good marks and we have a sense of her morality. 

Stewart, my antagonist, is also pretty well established. You understand how he fits into this story, what he wants to accomplish, and what he is willing to do to get it. We get the sense he’s dangerous, but in a different way than Regina. You aren’t sure what you think of him yet, but I think this is a result of the fact that my MC is honestly the bad guy in this whole story and you know that going in. The reader will be wondering: if the main character is really a bad guy doesn’t that mean this “antagonist” is really good? I want you wondering that, so we’re in a good place. 

Henry, Regina’s husband, is shaping up to take a WAY larger role in this story than I anticipated. This happens to me all the time when I’m writing from an outline. A character speaks LOUDER than I expected and ends up with more page time. In Henry’s case, this is a GOOD thing. He’s adding a depth to this story that I didn’t know it needed. He’s also solving a few consistency issues that popped up with Regina. I’m loving him, actually. 

The plot has moved along nicely. I’ve passed the climax, for sure. We’re in the falling action now, but it could take awhile. I’m planning on another mini climax popping in here pretty soon. I mentioned on my last update (video) that I was worried I’d come up short on my word count. That’s likely still looking like it will happen. I’ve come to accept that I’m a chronic underwriter. I don’t typically take time to write massive descriptions or details that could add to that count. I will have to go back and drop some of that in, I think. You’ll want to know details about where we are and what things look like. I’ll have to find my inner poet and drop some of that in. Some days I do that, adding words to chapters that have already been written. Other days I add meat to the story and keep moving on the outline. It’s about balance. Anyway, I’m still on outline and projected to finish this story in less than ten chapters, which is crazy. 

Your Turn

Where are you in that NaNo journey?

Drop a comment (or email me if you’d rather it not be something everyone can see) and let’s chat about your project.

Need a little help?

I can try and do that, too. I can’t solve everything … but I’m a decent sounding board.

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