For those who don’t remember or haven’t been paying attention, I’m participating in my third National Novel Writing Month right now. That’s when I consume massive amounts of chocolate and caffeine and write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. After 20 days I’m over 34,000 words. That means I’m ahead of schedule, but not by much.
You can read along if you like, though I promise it’s full of typos, bad ideas, moralizing and inconsistencies (hey, it’s an unedited first draft).
Sci-Fi is Hard
This year has been much harder than previous years because I opted to write a sci-fi novel. That’s harder both because it’s a new genre for me, but also because that genre involves making up a lot of stuff. And the pressure cooker deadline of NaNoWriMo doesn’t give you a lot of room to spend time deciding things like how many years does it take for the evidence of civilization to deteriorate (though books like The World Without Us and this article help) or what kind of societies develop in a post-apocalyptic world. So you kind of have to wing it. Even describing simple things like appearance becomes a lot more complicated.
In the end, of course, it’s still just a story. And that’s what I’m trying to focus on. I can iron out those “details” later.
The other thing that’s making it harder this year it that we’re leaving for Thanksgiving five days early so we can attend a family funeral. Thanksgiving usually throws a wrench into the NaNoWriMo plans, but it’s usually only a few days of broken routine, and sometimes it can actually be helpful because you have a few days off. Nothing like pounding out a few thousand words while everyone else watches football or does their black Friday shopping.
But now that broken routine will stretch from three or four days to seven. We’ll have to see what happens. Certainly I have a worthy excuse to call it quits, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. NaNoWriMo is about finishing no matter the odds.
Check back in another 10 days and we’ll see how we did.