A new month, and a few words short

About 10,500 words short.

I was going to give myself through Thursday to finish up the 50,000-word novel-in-a-month project, but I’m not going to make it. I was doing pretty well until last Tuesday, when I hit the wall. I’m still going to finish, but not by Thursday. Maybe not even by next Thursday.

Looking back at the month, I’ve learned I can’t work a full-time job and do things like cook dinner and spend time with my family and help with crush and help with editing a poetry journal and submit poems and fold the laundry and still write 1,666 words a day. Maybe someone else could, but I can’t. Or I couldn’t this month. (Many things have fallen by the wayside.)

I’ve learned I can’t go for a month without writing and working on and playing with poems. That’s the wall I hit last Tuesday, and said, Enough, I’ve got to get spend some time with poetry, with writing poetry.

I’ve learned that while it was fun to figure everything out as I went, I finished the plot’s arc before I reached 39,000 words, and now I’m just filling in–which is a much slower process. Some description here, some description there. Next time, I want to map things out ahead of time so that I know roughly what I’m covering each day. How will that affect pacing? I’m not sure. But I’d like to try it.

I still don’t have the voices I need for this. I’ve learned that I need to figure out (at least roughly) what kind of voice I want well before I start and then read things in that voice (or voices). I did start this part way through the month, reading Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson. It’s fun, although it’s making me realize that for this I really need to read Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett.

I’ve learned that I can write a lot. I think I could make this more sustainable by stretching it across two months, or fifty days. In the meantime, I still need to finish up those last 10,500 words. My goal is to finish before NaNoWriMo starts for the rest of the world (and I’ll be revising).

Time to catch up.

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