If you’ll look at my NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday (posted below), you’ll see that I’ve crossed over 30,000 words written, which leaves less than 20,000 words to go. So does that mean I only have to write 20,000 more words to finish my book? Well, no. It means I only have 20,000 more words to write in order to “win” National Novel Writing Month (they consider it “winning” if you write 50,000 words in 30 days). Whether or not you actually FINISH your book is not of much consequence to them.
But that seems like a pretty arbitrary goal, doesn’t it? Writing 50,000 words in 30 days? So, yes, while I’m on track to write 50,000 words in 30 days (in 28 days, actually), I’m afraid I’m not on track to actually finish the book. You see, I just got to the point in the plot where Fenderson takes Brad on a road trip to Las Vegas on their way to the port to get on the cruise ship. If you’ll remember the posting that introduced the original outline for Idle Hands, you’ll see that Las Vegas wasn’t even mentioned, and you’ll see that by November 17th, Fen was supposed to have already killed Jacob. And, here I am, on day 18 and they haven’t even gotten to the cruise ship yet.
That’s okay, rarely are today’s modern works of fiction only 50,000 words. Idle Hands was always going to be longer.
But the point of this is to realize, for all of us WriMo’s out there, that writing (and finishing) a novel is the real goal, no matter how long it takes. They just put a 50,000 word number on it, and an arbitrary starting and ending date, to put us all on the same page (pun intended).
So if your book is less than 50,000 words and you finish it before the end of the month, start writing a new one. And if your book is going to be longer than 50,000 words, and therefore not finished by November 30, keep on writing, even if you “won” NaNoWriMo.
You don’t publish 50,000 words. You publish books.
My NaNoWriMo stats for November 17:
|Average Per Day||1792|
|Words Written Today||2236|
|Target Word Count||50,000|
|Target ~ Words/Day||1,667|
|Total Words Written||30,473|
|At this rate, you’ll finish||November 28|
|Words/Day to finish on time||1,395|