With hitting my fifty thousand words, I also got to move on to my next section. Hooray for Act 2b! I think that puts me slightly more than halfway through, which means I’m right on track to finish my novel.
I’ve been using Alexandra Sokoloff’s NaNoWriMo Narrative Structure Cheat Sheet to help keep myself on track. It’s been an invaluable resource for me. It gives me an easy reminder of what I should be working on in order to reach my goals within my novel.
I’m not much of a planner, but with my first novel, I discovered that I cannot pants it completely. I need some kind of a time line to keep me from spending fifty thousand words meeting my characters with no plot to speak of. My first novel was a bit of a disaster, a fixable one, but a disaster, none the less.
I did no preparation for number 1 at all. I knew my characters and I knew the setting, but that was it. I didn’t know my plot arch, I didn’t know where I wanted to go with the story. After writing forty thousand words of it, I finally found my plot, but was unsure how to blend it into what I had already written. I probably should have started over, rewriting it entirely at that point.
I now have sixty thousand words in that novel. I don’t regret any of them, despite the fact I will need to do a full rewrite. I now have a greater understanding of my characters, I know them as people, not just words on paper. I understand my mythos to a greater degree. I know what that first book needs to be now.
Without those random sixty thousand words, my NaNovel would not be what it is today. It would not flow as well as it does. After I finish my NaNovel, I will be starting the rewrite on my first novel, starting with the prep work that made my NaNovel such a roaring success and so much fun to write.
I’m still not an outliner, I never will be. But between Scrivener and the cheat sheet, I think I will be able to get by just fine.