NaNoWriMo Week 4 Review

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We’re pretty much there.  The fourth week of NaNoWriMo 2015 is behind us.

In fact, there are only two days left.

If you haven’t hit the 50K mark yet, then this is the home stretch for you to knock it out of the park.  If, on the other hand, you’re already there, then this is the time to finish the story up.

I’ve been going strong, and I’ve timed things out well.  While writing last week’s review, I spent a little time strategizing for the final week so that I could make the end of the story and the end of November align.

The process has gone well.

With two days left, I’ve got exactly two scenes left to write, and I’m projecting each of them two be about 2,000 words long.

I love it on the rare occasion that these sorts of plans actually work out!

What hasn’t worked out as well is the actual writing.

I planned my story to be written in two time phases, “Present” and “Past.”  I finished the “Present” version of my story about a week ago, and most of this week has been spent filling in the “Past” part.

Unfortunately, this adds quite a layer of complexity to the writing.  The character I spent so much time getting to know is supposed to be different in “Past.”  Growth and development and all that.  Who he was in the past is a much more nebulous concept to me, and it’s making the writing much more difficult.

From a future directions standpoint, I’m looking forward to returning to my other interests.  Writing about ~2,000 words per day has put a lot of other parts of my writing life on hold.  I’ve done very little in the way of blogging (sorry!) and non-fiction writing.  Hold off, though, because I’ll talk more about that during the November Month In Review!

 

Metrics

I finished the week with a total of 67,654 words!

If I subtract last week’s 48,806, we end up with this week’s total of 18,848 words!  That’s a great weekly total, with an average of 2,692 words per day!  That means I took advantage of the Thanksgiving vacation to finish strong, just like I was hoping to.

With only two scenes left and each projected to be ~2,000 words, I can, at long last, give a reasonably accurate estimation of how long my completed NaNo will be: roughly 72,000 words.

That’s a heck of a month of writing!

 

Lesson Learned

 

My lesson learned this week is the importance of understanding character.

The “Present” part of my story was easy to write.  I knew my character well, and I had a very vivid conception of him.  The story sort of just flowed from that.

I wanted to include the “Past” part to add depth to the story and set up a compelling narrative structure.  However, because my character is less well fleshed out in that time frame, I think it actually lost depth and hurt the narrative structure.  It backfired.

To be honest, trying to simultaneously tell a character’s story from two time periods about ~10 years of growth and development apart is ambitious.  I don’t think I was ready for it as a writer, but I think the only way to get ready for it is to try and fail.

Then re-write.  Improve it.  Re-write some more.  And succeed.

So that’s the plan.

 

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