I've just finished my most wordcount-heavy day on NaNoWriMo, the worldwide drive/competition/project to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, and my onion ring and coffee addled brain feels the urge for a little mid-match analysis.
In previous years I've made chapter-by-chapter plans, sometimes breaking down those plans into key dialogue and action sections, and in 2005 I even sketched a fictional family tree and the floorplan of a Withnail-and-I-style cottage. This year I dove in with barely a title, a few opening chapters and two character names. Jamie Grace and Barry Clay. Even I'm not a fan.
Like most years I missed the 00:01 start on November 1st due to being blind drunk in an offensive and revealing Halloween costume, and have been playing wordcount catch up all week since. It's an eerie feeling to know that a lot of the stuff you're writing in the moment is just filler that will be ripe for culling in the first edit, especially when it's your first chapter.
I can't help but feel I'm setting myself up in the wrong frame of mind, writing to fill quotas rather than explore ideas. I'm going to hit 20% of wordcount with less than half the month left and stumble, suddenly running out of ideas, a week after everyone else has reached and overcome the same issue.
The good news is my yearly burst of procrastination is a little more productive than usual, having taken on the form of worshipping Chris Baty's insanely enthusiastic updates, embracing the sarcastic but hilarious advice at Fake NaNoWriMo Tips, and finally paying attention to the my regional blogosphere.
Six gigs, two birthdays, two lectures, and the obligatory four weeks at work. I could do with a longer November.