I thought I would know the exact moment that I hit the 50,000 word count – that elusive goal for participants in the National Novel Writing Month challenge.
For some reason I assumed the computer would flash like railroad crossing lights and bells would peal madly. At the very least my inner consciousness should have given me a giant cosmic high five – right?
Turns out, it slipped past me as easily as a sail boat, gliding right into the next channel of adventure. I saw it approaching, then it was long past.
I’ve asked myself how it happened and this is the best answer I could conjure.
I had gotten to a place in the story where I felt a little stuck. This wasn’t the first time though. Following my predetermined plot got a little forced about midway and my heroine wasn’t cooperating. Finally I deleted about a thousand words and let her have her way. It paid off. She took over, grabbed me by the hand and together we skipped happily along until we neared the 48,000th word. Accidents happened, an eating disorder showed up – it had previously been alluded to but my intention was to leave it in the past – and she demanded that she repair all of the damage herself before reconnecting with her love interest.
Operating from muse instead of my plot was fantastic until she went home for the holidays – or wherever it is that muses go when they abandon you.
And then she returned.
The answer became clear.
The satisfaction of the moment my heroine thought she wanted left her disappointed and empty. And she and I went racing back through words so quickly I didn’t take time to look at the count.
So my friends, I have surpassed the goal of 50,000 and am determined now to finish the novel entirely before November disappears and sanity returns. But it does seem to mock me a little. If I can write this much in November, what about the rest of the year?
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