NaNoWriMo is coming up… soon. Before we know it November 1 will be on the calendar and National Novel Writing Month will be upon us. It’s a beautiful thing, this challenge to write a novel in 30 days, and it can be done. I know. I’ve done it.
Well, sort of. I’ve written a draft of a novel. The whole thing, beginning, middle, and end. There are characters, settings, conflicts a plenty, and even a resolution. But is it done? Not be a long shot.
When did I write this manuscript?
Yes, it’s been three years. It was a glorious time, really. The ideas were flowing, the words jumped out of my head and through my fingertips onto the screen. Not all days were like that, but overall it worked! I tracked my progress diligently, and worked hard to deliver those 1,600 words per day. Some days I didn’t make it, but other days made up for it. By the end of the month I did it. I finished!
Now I’m in revisions. Still. To be fair, I didn’t touch it for a long time, but also to be fair, I’ve been really slow about revising. Good thing I belong to a terrific writing group which forces me to bring material for review from time to time, or I might not be working on it at all. So why do I keep doing it?
First of all, at this point I have a lot of time invested in it. Sure, I haven’t worked on it every minute of the past three years, but it’s been part of my life for that length of time. I’d hate to just cut it loose and say that it doesn’t matter.
Secondly, and more importantly, I think there’s something to the story. Each time I work on it I’m surprised by how much I actually like the story. My writing group is encouraging (and they are NOT a smile and nod type of group, they tell it like it is), and frankly if I can figure out a little bit of a plot hole I think I could be done with it soon(ish).
The problem is that plot hole seems like a canyon at the moment. When I wrote the draft it all made sense, but when I reread that section (a very pivotal scene) I realized that the motivation for the characters actions was completely missing. The action simply doesn’t make sense without some type of explanation, and silly me, I forgot to include it. At the time I know why he did what he did, but now for the life of me I can’t remember, and it’s causing a problem. I need to figure it out so I can move on!
All that leads me to November. Am I ready to start a new project? I have ideas, and I think I could commit the time, especially now that the boy is in college. It might be the spark I need to get me going creatively, and maybe as a result I’ll come up with a stellar solution to the plot hole in manuscript number one. Maybe.
What do you think? Is this a challenge I should face or a burden I’ll regret?