Writing Goals check-in

It’s a snowy Monday night, and I’m still recovering from National Novel Writing Month. I wrote 85K words of novel draft alongside an estimated 10-15K words of blog posts (posting every day adds up fast). So we’re looking at a likely 100,000 words written in November (certainly if I add in other nonfictional writing tasks). I think that’s where it starts getting real. It’s right at the edge of what I can pull off, physically and mentally, alongside a day job that demands my full attention when I’m there.

I’m still on track to be turning over my draft NaNo novel to my beta-readers by January 1. I’m still finishing it (at the much-reduced rate of 700-1000 words/day), but the holes to be filled in aren’t that large. Certain plot threads continue to flap loose in the wind, but they’d have done that if I’d finished on November 30. There’s just too much spontaneous generation in a novel written this fast. I’m working on the perfectionism, really I am.

When I finish the draft, I’m going to take out the knife and do some preliminary trimming, and then I’m going to write the Known Issues list that I keep in reserve to compare my ruthless first-pass assessment with the responses of the beta readers. What I’m learning is that my instincts are pretty good, but the second set of eyes is still necessary. Outside readers have found interesting patterns that completely eluded me, be it nice little thematic twists, or recurring imagery, or books that came to mind… in some cases, books I hadn’t read. I always learn from my beta readers.

Now for some more words, and then to bed.

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