NaNo Update: I Need More Fantasy

I hit a weird snag in my NaNo novel on Wednesday, one I did not expect to hit after my record-shattering (for me) weekend. I got bored with my story. I was bored with Aston (he is so terribly naive, something I may have to fix in the editing process), I was bored with the section I was writing, and I was bored with Everfeld. I wrote 135 words, and I don’t even like most of them. I get it,  at least I wrote something. But I was not looking forward to coming home on Thursday and staring at the laptop screen again.

That was a first for me this NaNo. Even if I wasn’t sure what my ideas were or where my story was going, I wanted to sit down and write. I wanted to just get them on virtual paper.

So on Thursday, I gave myself a mental break, not really thinking about my story at all during the course of my day. I let my mind wander into the fantastical realms in which it tends to dwell. I came out of it Thursday afternoon realizing that in focusing on character-building and word count, I had left the more fantastical elements of my story in the dust, turning it into basically a walk through the woods.

Last night, I went back to the beginning, picking specific sections to include those themes more prominently, while boosting my word count. I needed Everfeld to feel overwhelming. This is supposed to be an ancient forest where the oldest trees are large enough to create tunnels out of their roots, and where feral creatures prowl the night. The forest is supposed to be overwhelming in both its power and majesty, for the characters and the reader, and I just wasn’t feeling like I had achieved that. I wanted my characters to feel that strange sense that lies at the intersection of fear and awe. And then I wanted to make the danger real.

Basically, I had to remind myself that there actually needs to be adventure and danger in a fantasy novel. Now, I have new twist to the story arc that creates a logical progression to the first major character conflict that I wanted to write anyway.

The Final Stretch

My word count is 31,755 as of last night, so I’m still right on track. The issue is that I just remembered that Thanksgiving is next week, which means I need to power through a big chunk of my word count this weekend. Assuming I don’t get any writing done Thursday-Saturday (due to travel), I need to average 2,600 words per day to finish on time. I’m going to shoot for 12,000 words by Sunday night, for a total of about 43,000. I’ll probably update again over the weekend.

How is everyone else fairing? Still on track to finish on time?

Steve D

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