NaNoWriMo 2018 | Week 2 Update
November is now over halfway done, thus, we reached the halfway point for NaNoWriMo this past week. I am currently a bit behind on my word count, but after I’m done with this post I’m going to get some more writing in before the day is done; in other words, I have the time to catch up.
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Like I said in my Week 1 Update, I’ve been writing almost exclusively in the evenings. I don’t really want to switch this up, since if I get to work early enough in the mornings, I can get home before the sun has completely set and my body starts feeling too tired to do anything. Anyway, I managed to write 9,708 words – for a total of 22,329 – which is about the same pace at which I wrote during Week 1. This actually surprises me, because the Second Week Slump really hit me hard, making me feel less accomplished than I felt after that first week.
The momentum I had in those first ten days slowed down quite noticeably. At the beginning of every writing session it has taken significantly longer to spark an idea or identify a scene or character I could develop more deeply. I feel like Week 1 was a huge release of everything I wanted to write, and Week 2 was a buildup of doubt and frustration. In addition, I’ve started to really miss reading (I’m only reading one book at the moment). I organized my bookshelves last Sunday, and as I admired them all week, my books seemed to call to me more seductively than usual. I just need an extra day in which I can read as much as I can without it working against my word count goal.
It’s very likely that my Second Week Slump is directly related to the lack of reading in my life right now, but I feel like this post is already negative enough so let’s move on to more positive and/or constructive talking points.
The first is that I have written so much dialogue that I don’t recognize myself. When I started NaNoWriMo, I anticipated a lot more setting descriptions and interior monologues. There is certainly the former but almost none of the latter. I thought writing dialogue would be more grueling – for whatever reason – but it’s actually been a lot of fun constructing the story through character discussions and banter.
Second, I’ve really expanded the world that I’m creating, which in turn has offered me more avenues to explore. This is in terms of characters and settings; I’ve written so many points of view (seven or eight), which is a little too much for 20,000 words, but great for a long novel (in my opinion). I like reading drawn out action intertwined with explanation and character development, so it’s been fulfilling to discover that it’s fun to write that way.
So although I didn’t feel as invigorated during Week 2 as I did during Week 1, I’m still in love with my story and have been really enjoying talking to other participants and writers about their progress. I may go to my local write-in tomorrow, but I would really like to get to Starbucks early like I did last weekend, because that was incredibly productive. No matter what, I am aiming to reach at least 26,000 words by the end of the weekend. And then we’ll see what the third week of NaNoWriMo has in store.
How did Week 2 treat you? Have you made any writing discoveries or hit any walls with your story? What are you looking forward to in the second half of November? Be sure to share in a comment below, and if you want to stay updated with my day-to-day progress, or share yours, just follow me on Twitter.
Happy writing, friends.
My first drafts are mainly dialogue. I think it’s a way of getting to know the characters. The descriptions go in once I know how the characters feel about what they’re seeing.
Well done for keeping going. Make sure you have a notebook with you all the time, because ideas about where the novel’s going will pop into your head while you’re away from the keyboard. I was a passenger in a car last week and I was just looking at the scenery when something occurred to me that has made a huge difference to my work in progress. I wasn’t even thinking about my novel.
That is an excellent point! Dialogue definitely feels like a more dimensional and fluid way to develop and discover things about the characters.
And a notebook is definitely my solid companion; thank you for sharing that so other people here can read it. I’ve also used voice memos on my phone when I feel like I need to talk through an idea and hear it back.
Voice memos are a good idea.