NaNoWriMo: Hanging in there…

So much for my idea of posting three times a week – it’s been over a week since my last post, and a week and a half since my last NaNo related post. Unfortunately I often forget that November is extremely busy socially, as well as writing and work and all that other stuff, and so I’ve overestimated my own time management skills.

As of the end of yesterday, I am sitting at close to 16400 words, which leaves me about 3 600 behind (a little over two days). For some, this could and should cause panic and alarm. But for me, I’m not even remotely worried. Back in 2009 (I think), I remember sitting on about 11000 words around November 20, and thinking “I can’t do this” and then promptly doing it, against all odds. Since then, I just know I will find a way to catch up when I fall behind, no matter what (even if this does make me dangerously calm).

While I am staying relatively close to my daily goals, what has been concerning me is the lack of direction in my story. I have three main storylines working around three different characters, and I have now just recently brought two of these together, but I still don’t really know where this is all heading. And as much as I am enjoying writing something silly and (so I am told) funny, I need to add a bit of drive to it otherwise I’ll soon lose interest in my own tale of…whatever this tale is about.

One of the ways I’m considering doing this is by adding a villain of some description. Not only will it bring something new to the story, but it may help bring all my characters together in a more believable manner. But if I add a villain, I also have to think of why he or she is a bad guy, and what their interest is in the main characters. I also need to figure out why my main main character was on the run, before he lost his memory and forgot that the reason he can’t figure out his identity is because it was constantly changing.

As I approach the halfway point, I am more than confident I will finish this novel in time. But will it be any good, or am I going to crash and burn creatively?

How are you going writing your NaNoWriMo novels (if you are participating (obviously))?

What do you think of adding in villains much later in the story?

12 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Hanging in there…

    • I had thought about doing that. My good characters are pretty bad anyway, or at least very very flawed. I was thinking the secret from the main main character’s past could be something diabolical! But what, I wonder…although this part of writing can be challenging, it’s always very fun, too! πŸ™‚

  1. Ah, a common villain. One who evilly plots against all of your characters… I like it!
    We are the same, word count wise. I hit about 17,500 today, but I’m still behind, behind behind! I planned out loosely what I wanted to happen with this story, but these characters aren’t behaving exactly as I want and it’s quite tiresome. Someone needs to pull them in line!

    • Turns out the villain was already in my story, I just hadn’t realised it yet.
      Ahhh cool, you’re slightly ahead of me word wise then. Mind, neither of us are too far behind, we’ll catch up easily! πŸ™‚
      I know how you feel – I think Chris Baty’s pep talk today nailed it for me…I feel like my main characters have the charisma of a potato at the moment. It doesn’t help that everytime I sit down to write, I’m so tired…sigh.

  2. I think you can add a villain any time you like, they can pop in and pop out or even be popped off. Let’s be honest we meet villains all the time in life so why not in a novel. If your MC was always changing his reality he could have been running from a villain who has now caught up with him or he could be a villain who is now being caught up with by another villain or you could have a crinimal who is there just to be there. Pepper the thing with villains you can have a grand villain cull at the end – what fun.

  3. I’m struggling with NaNo this year, I’m at 13000 words at this point and pretty deep in despair. Well, I guess I knew I would have a hard time reaching 50k this year but I won’t give up yet! I’m a bit of a rebel this year too as I am writing several short stories on similar themes instead of one novel, but it’s not easier in any way, shape or form.

    Adding villains later in the story? Sure, why not? As long as they are as bad as bad can be and raise hell for the other characters. πŸ™‚

    If you want another writing buddy, I’m __Alexandra__, I’ve been terrible at getting writing buddies up to this point.

    Good luck, anyway!

    • Definitely don’t give up, you’d always be surprised how much people can bounce back. A friend in my writing group was in the low 20k today, but now is over 30k and is on such a roll she’s aiming for 40k by doing an all nighter, and she just might pull it off! You’d be amazed what we can do when pushed to our limits. But even if you don’t make the 50k, you could still get a lot out of just trying to reach it at this point! Either way, good luck with it! πŸ™‚
      The big twist I have added to mine of late is a lot of doubt regarding the main character – could he be the biggest villain of them all, and he doesn’t even know it? *dramatic music*
      I’ve added you as a writing buddy, if you want to add me back! πŸ™‚

      • Wow, 10k in one day and perhaps another 10, that’s impressive! Hope she gets to 40k as she is aiming for! I’ll try my best and as you say, if I don’t reach 50k that’s not the end of the world, at least I’ll have written someting in November. Thanks for your inspiring words! πŸ™‚

        Sounds like an interesting twist with the main character possibly being the biggest villain of all, especially with him not knowing it, definitely creates some dramatic suspense.

        Thanks for adding me, I’ve added you back.

        Well, better get back to writing dangerously! πŸ™‚

        • She got 19k down, and blew 40k out the window that night! Crazy!
          I just reached 50k tonight, phew! I was on 47k, and I just wanted it to be over. Amazingly I wrote the 3k in under 2 hours, closer to an hour and a half. Sadly, I’m not very happy with the ending, though at least it returned to its comedic roots (the final “fight” had pelicans involved).
          Good luck with your writing, I have noticed your word count creeping up! You’re still doing really well, don’t forget that! πŸ™‚

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