I figured I may as well post these two updates together, rather than waiting for the day to be over to announce I’ve reached 50k when I reached it pretty early on today. It took me a week to hit it. I had two days where I wrote over 10,000 words and one or two 9k days. I had one day where I was a little slack and only wrote about 2k, which had actually been my original target before I realized I could write more.
My secret to hitting 50k in a week boils down to not having to work or go to school, preparing a detailed outline well in advance and getting my butt in the chair to write in the first place. I did get fatigued at about the 25k mark and had to struggle for a bit, but I pushed through, knowing the block had nothing to do with what was happening in the story at the time and everything to do with my own stamina. I pulled out an 11k day yesterday despite my fatigue. NaNoWriMo has been an experiment in how much stamina and drive I really have. I have more than I thought I did.
So anyway, I’ll post a celebratory excerpt from each day.
We filed out of the gates and down the pebbled path. Caleb had his arm out behind me as if ready to catch me if I slipped. I didn’t need it. I’d been a pro at walking in heels across any surface when I was a human. With my magically enhanced body, I was even better now.
The sky above us was turning purple. I had to remind myself to watch where I was going, rather than just stare at it.
“Twilight is really cool here,” said Elizabeth. “Just you wait until the pink and orange comes out.” And as she spoke, tendrils of pink and orange slowly bled into the clouds.
“Wicked,” I whispered.
“One night there was this bloody red streak,” said Caleb. “It collided with a green one and all hell broke those. There was this silent explosion in the sky and fragments of every color you could imagine rolled through the clouds.”
“It was amazing,” Elizabeth added. It sounded amazing.
Throughout our walk, I kept glancing up at the sky, hoping for a collision. Nothing as spectacular as what Caleb described happened, but the orange and pink and purple braided themselves together across the sky, like Rapunzel if she suddenly decided to rebel against the family who had put her in that tower.
By the time we reached Alis, the braid had begun to unravel.
We kept going the next day through pasture after pasture until we reached a gigantic grey stone bridge, big enough for at leave five of our carriages to travel side by side. I could hear water crashing beneath.
“We’ve reached what we call, jokingly, the River Styx,” Alistair said. “Nobody who has gone down there has ever come back. Our two continents are held in some kind of abyss, as explorers discovered when they reached the edges of the land. Our land is most definitely flat, unlike the human world. The river simply drops off at the edges. We believe the water flows in a waterfall into the abyss for eternity, but we don’t know that for certain. Nor do we know where the river water comes from.”
“Can we see it?” I asked.
“Not today. We have no spare time.”
So we just crossed the bridge through the centre. I could feel the rumble of the river in every bone in my body. It must have been immense. Elizabeth was reading, clearly unimpressed for she’d taken this trip many times before. Caleb and I were in awe, releasing the occasional nervous laugh. It felt like the bridge could collapse at any moment and send us plummeting into the unknown. Logically, we both knew the stone bridge was pretty damn tough, but that didn’t stop us from entertaining the thought.
We crossed the bridge safely. As the carriage pulled away from the river, the tremors lessened until they were gone entirely. Caleb and I looked at each other and laughed again.
I am nowhere near finishing this novel, so I’ve upped my November goal to 75k, which will allow me to work at a saner pace and take into account the exams I have coming up in a few days. Going into NaNo, I wasn’t sure if I’d struggle to hit 50k or not, since I can write a lot when I’m focused but tend to write infrequently at best. This has taken away so many excuses I have not to write and has made the entire task of writing a novel much less daunting. I highly recommend NaNoWriMo to writers wanting to improve their speed, but if you edit as you go you might be better off aiming for a lower count, because getting the words down will take much longer for you.
I’m going to close this post, which is now over 800 words long, and get to studying for my exams. Maybe I’ll sneak in a little writing during my breaks.