After fifteen days on the Crazy Train, my spreadsheet tells me I’m 83.6% complete, with 41,801 words banked. My own stats tell me that, after looking at the average word count per chapter, I’m on pace for a 63,930 word story.
It’s a lot of numbers at the moment, but there’s a story in there. You gotta trust me.
I knew, based upon what I was planing, that this weekend would be about the point where I’d cross the fifty thousand mark in the NaNo marathon. When I look at last year’s stats, I cross that particular Rubicon on 14 November, when I finished the day with 51,061 words. If I look at my numbers for the last ten days, there is a possibility I could end up at fifty thousand on Sunday night. To do that I’ll need to probably have one three thousand word day–
If not, then I finish on Monday. No big deal. I can see the stadium off in the distance, so the race is almost over.
As for finishing the story? That’s a bit trickier.
The chapter I’m working on today–and the chapter that follows–could get into some wordage. A couple of the chapters that follow could be pretty short, and by that I mean maybe a thousand words, or so. All that aside, I could still end up with a sixty-five thousand word story. With a bit of editing, I could get that up to seventy, but lets get the story finished first.
For a while I’ve had this feeling that I’m not writing with the same speed and urgency as I did with last year’s NaNo. Well, yes and no. I had a bit of a heart-to-heart with The Muse last night–she’s still around, looking over my shoulder, rubbing my shoulders when necessary–and I’ve discovered the followed: I’m not in a mad dash to simply throw words upon the page, but rather, I want to have it go out as a clean first draft, rather than a, “What the hell is this crap?” first draft.
My goal for NaNo was to get two thousand words a day behind me, and I’ve held to that. There was one day when I just barely made that total, but numbers be met, and I’ll take what I wrote. But as I told the Muse, this has also been one story where I’ve had to dive into the well and pull up research as I was writing, and unlike last year, that’s slowed me down.
Last year it was all about fantasy; this year it’s still about fantasy, but fantasy that exists in a real world wrapper, and there are names, there are weapons, there are streets, there are locations . . . hell, there’s even having to check what the stars are going to look like next year on a certain night on the other side of the world, and how one would eat pressed grilled bananas covered in sauce when your character are at the beach.
That’s where I was last night: I have my characters waiting to see someone, they’re standing on a beach front in the city of Makassar, and I wanted to set a mood . . . so I’m looking at how the sky looked at the time, and I knew what they were going to eat, but I wasn’t certain how they’d eat it, or how it would be packaged–and therein is the need to run off and look things up. Which I did.
So even among the writing, even with all the research, there’s work to be conducted, things to find.
And find them I do . . . that’s why I’m a writer.