NaNoWriMo word count target achieved!

My NaNoWriMo 2017 word count graph

So, this happened. I figured if I managed to hit the 50,000 word target for NaNoWriMo it would be mostly down to caffeine and an obsessive nature. That was entirely correct. Here’s the story of how I hit the target half a month early.

How I got to 50,000 words

Once upon a time, I’d written 28,000 words of a story. It’s no secret that I rarely follow linear narrative structure and tend to switch point of view frequently. It was all going well and I was happy. Then, lying in bed one night, my brain was like, “Hey, this would be way better if all the bits you’d written in third person were written in first person instead.” My brain does shit like that to me all the time.

I did some panic Tweeting, lay awake staring at the ceiling for a while, then managed to get to sleep. The next day, I had two choices. First, the sensible one – change to first person for the rest of the book, then make a firm decision once the draft is finished and make it consistent during editing. Second, the fucking ridiculous one that I obviously went for – redraft a second version of all the third person scenes before continuing, because doing that will make it obvious whether first person or third person feels right.

I redrafted and first person definitely feels right (at the moment), so I now have two versions of the first half of the book (I’m actually not 100% sure that I won’t end up going back to third person later) and then got back to continuing the story. And that’s how 50,000 words happened so unexpectedly early. And coffee. And I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

My new goal for November

I wasn’t taking part in NaNoWriMo just to write 50,000 words in a month. I was, am, doing it to have a complete first draft of 22 Cards by the end of November and that’s definitely still the plan. So my new goal is the finish the first draft, regardless of word count. Not going to lie, I feel a little bit more chilled about the whole thing knowing that I’m not chasing that word count target anymore, but I still have a long way to go and I’m still going.

Things I’ve learned so far

My search history is amazing this month! I’ve learned many new and interesting things over the last couple of weeks, such as how different gun holsters look under different styles of coat, how to break someone’s neck with your bare hands, and that the word garrote originally refers to the stick used to tighten the wire and not the wire itself. Not technically a thing I’ve learned, but my favourite line I’ve written so far is, “The difference between us,” I whispered, “is the sound of screaming doesn’t get me hard.” This has all taken a much darker turn than I expected, and I expected it to be dark.

If you’re currently NaNo-ing, I hope it’s going really well for you, that you’re  still deep in love with your story and that you reach whatever goals you set for yourself in the time you want to reach them

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