Number of words completed in novel number 3 (WIP) before NaNoWriMo – 24,336.
Number of words completed in novel number 3 (WIP) one week into NaNoWriMo – 7,035.
Whilst the rest of the writing community is frantically trying to increase their daily number of words to write a magical 50,000 words by the end of the month for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I seem to have decreased my word count.
I realised in last week’s column that I needed to look harder at my characters and decided to use NaNo as an opportunity to write a new book with a new main character. But as I sat down to write it I decided that actually I loved the story idea of my current WIP and actually would it not be better to carry on writing it.
The small problem (or at least I thought it was small) was that I knew my main character wasn’t strong enough, so essentially I’d need to go back over the other bits and boost the character to give her a proper personality. Which in turn would probably boost my word count. Amazing you might think, the quicker I get to 80,000 the better. Only the problem was that I was nearly at 30,000 words and I’d only just created the back story for my protagonist; adding more words was just going to make it worse.
Instead, I ended up taking a long hard look at my novel, and a look at what I thought the main story was. And I realised as well as the lack of personality to my main character, I was writing two different stories in the book. Bargain – two for the price of one! Unfortunately this was definitely fitting of the old adage that less is more.
Without giving too much away about my top secret manuscript, I’d written too much about how my main character had started dating and fallen in love with her beau. Which to be honest with their hiccups along the way is a book in itself. And it was overshadowing the main idea behind the book which is more to do with her “obsession”.
So I did what is always a bit scary on computers, I highlighted large chunks of text and hit the delete key. (Yes, I did back up a copy just in case before I did it). And there my novel number 3, the girl with “the obsession”, ended up with just under 1,000 words left to it. I know, I had got massively sidetracked!
’ve since then been working on my main character, who is completely different, and bears little resemblance to me. She still has a back story, but one that is definitely in the back and not taking centre stage. I may have not written quite enough to keep me on schedule with NaNo, but I’m much happier now about novel number 3, and who knows, it might just have that sparkle!