November 50k Challenge: Week 2

November 50k Challenge: Week 2It’s my November 50k Challenge: Week 2. And I’ve run out of plot.

To recap, I’m unofficially taking a NaNoWriMo fifty thousand word novel writing challenge. At the close of Day Fourteen, there’s good and bad news.

The good news is I’ve found a writing routine to get words on the page each morning and again most evenings. If you want hard numbers, it’s at 32,738 or 65% of target. The best day produced 4,664 words, the worst only 337 (a working Saturday). The daily average, for what it’s worth, is 2,335. I’m ahead of schedule.

The bad news is I’ve run out of plot. I habitually write short and expand when I edit. But this is distressingly short. I’ve used up all the plot material in my outline, including writing much of the conclusion. Act Three is mostly a blank. It doesn’t look like I’ll hit the 50k, never mind my anticipated over run.

As I scroll through the document to begin Week 3, I can see a lot of placeholder text; suggestions in square brackets, edit marks where text needs to expand to full sentences or full paragraphs, markers as notes to self where I have half an idea or a dangling half-sentence.

Best Endeavours

My usual MO is Draft Dirty and Edit Clean later. However, I’m writing particularly short this time.

What do you do when a plan fails? Make a new plan.

That new plan currently looks like this:

  • Write as much from the outline as I can in Week 3; keep drafting dirty.
  • Don’t stop. Don’t be tempted to revise. Get to the end.
  • Start a round of editing in Week 4. This is where I usually expand my placeholder text and add a lot of additional word count.
  • Stop fussing over the word count and just write. This is a book I wasn’t planning to write for another year as part of a series. Now it’s a stand-alone.

My objective is still to push through November, establish a routine and see how far I can get. 65% of target at just under half the month can’t be bad.

Is this glass half empty or half full?

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