At 5:20 p.m. today, Thursday, November 29, I crossed the finish line to claim my fifth annual win in the National Novel Writing contest (NaNoWriMo). The first four years, I finished with several thousand extra words and days to spare. This year I got off to a good start, then slowed from hurdles on the track.
From too many speaking invitations (the good interruptions) and other special events that could not be postponed (the enjoyable times), to family emergencies (the down side), my high-speed rabbit chase slowed to a turtle-pace. I usually complain that my characters push and shove to be the bad guy or the winner-takes-all hero. This year, my characters stumbled along their mundane paths to the required 50,000 word-goal with little sense of purpose.
To reach my goal, I padded the novel with she said, he said and other phrases. My characters talked too much (dialogue) and hogtied the omniscient narrator (not enough tension) and left me struggling for an arc and conclusion. See what I mean by word padding? I should have substituted excessive for too much and insufficient for not enough to streamline this blog.
Fifty thousand of the three billion, thirty six million, eight hundred and six thousand, one hundred and fifty NaNoWriMo words confirmed are mine. And I have the winner’s goodies to prove it.
I’ll finish the novel someday. For now, goodnight NaNo. Goodnight all.