When I wrote my outline for Far Away Places, I had a rough I idea that the story would be told in three parts. Since I was aiming for 90,000 words, I assumed that each part would represent a third of the novel, or about 30,000 words and I outlined accordingly. This morning I finished Part 1 of the novel. For the 14th day in a row, I not only exceeded the NaNoWriMo pace of 1667 words/day, I exceeded my own pace of 2000 words/day, finishing the session with 2318 words. It brought my 14-day total to 34,780 words. Considering I was aiming for about 30,000 words in Part 1, this is pretty darn good, I think. I had originally outlined 15 chapters. I ended up with 14 chapters because I consolidated two of the shorter chapters into a single one. Part 1 ended on a positive note, which is what I was looking for, but the ending needs some work–and I’ve made some notes for when I return to it in the second draft.
Tomorrow, I’ll begin Part 2. This enters the long middle of the novel and it is here, as I understand it, that many would-be novelists get bogged down. I am hoping to avoid this, but only time will tell. If all goes well, I’ll be wrapping up Part 2 in about 2 week from now, adding another 30,000 words to what I’ve already got. Over the past few days, I’ve been fleshing out the outline for Part 2 making changes to my original based on things that have happened in Part 1 that I didn’t plan for. There were three main subplots in Part 1. These will grew into 6 subplots in Part 2 and I hope this will keep things interesting for me as a writing and for any future reader. The outline still requires some work and I hope to get to that later today.
I’m very pleased with my progress thus far. I am more than 11,000 words ahead of NaNoWriMo pace–that’s nearly a week ahead of schedule. More importantly, I’m pleased with the writing overall. The prose can be dramatically improved in the second draft, but the story is compelling, I think, and it is hanging together well through the first third of the novel. I hope it will continue to do so through the daunting two-thirds that remain.
Here are the stats for today: