Wordcount for today is 30,697 of 31,667, although once again by the time I even got around to writing this blog post I’d already got it up to 31,089. Here’s the problem: I’ve run out of outline again. I mean, I haven’t really arrived at a specific ending point yet, but this story is out of momentum and it needs a new arc to get anywhere. I might have another, like, 300 words until I reach the actual ending line, but that’s not even going to get me up to day 19’s goal, let alone day 20’s, and I’m going to have to spend some/all of day 20 outlining a new section.
Another one of those days where I kept writing a ways after midnight, so my word count for the day is not the same as the word count when I stopped writing and went to sleep. Today’s word count is technically 27,252 out of 30,000, a significant deficit and then some, but by the time I went to sleep it was up to 29,288, close enough that I’m hoping to catch up tomorrow. Not only is this not the first time I’ve said that, though, this isn’t even the first time I’ve noticed that this isn’t the first time I’ve said that. Particularly, the day in which nothing got done wasn’t even all that eventful – I just got distracted with a completely different project (one that may show up on this blog after November).
No progress today. At all. First time that’s happened, the one time I was at least able to throw in like eight words by adding some titles. I’ve got enough time left to absorb this blow, I just have to avoid making a habit of it, and the bright side is that I did spend the day working on a bunch of other stuff.
I’m pretty sure I made my word quota and then some if you count all the writing I did unrelated to my actual novel, and some people do count literally any word of fiction written during November as part of their 50,000 total. Seeing as how my primary motivation here is just to keep being productive in a month that’s typically been fallow for me, I could probably justify taking that approach. It doesn’t feel right, though, and since the goal is arbitrary, I’ve decided to stick to 50,000 words written for the specific story I started on November 1st. By that metric, I’m at 25,938 of 26,667. Behind, but I should be able to catch up in a day or two. My primary worry is that if I have one of these lag behind days right before the end, and it takes me 2-3 days to catch up, well, I won’t have 2-3 days. I should try to build up a buffer to guard against this.
So I had that dentist’s appointment today. Due to the lack of local public transportation, my car having broken down and my being absolutely sick of throwing money into repairing that clunker, not having enough money to buy a new one, resolving to just bike around until I can save up some more, and then the bike’s tires going flat, I spent a total of about three hours today walking to and from my dentist’s appointment. Not to mention about half an hour actually at the dentist. I have a cavity I need looked at on the twenty-seventh, so that’s neat. On top of that, a friend needed someone to talk to so I spent like two hours doing that, too. I’m not going into details for the sake of their privacy, but it was a huge fucking deal.
All of this to say that the last few hundred of my 25,116 out of 25,000 words are probably going to need editing, since it’s basically just two characters sitting around talking strategy. But hey, maybe not, because one character imparting martial wisdom onto another is an important part of the scene anyway.
I have reached 23,927 out of 23,334 words for today. This puts me back on target for the first time since day five. Now for the bad news: I have a dentist’s appointment tomorrow which, on top of all the usual nastiness involved in dentist’s appointments, is going to take up several hours of time, principally due to commute. That time is going to be displaced from other things I need to get done during the day, which means that ultimately my writing time is probably going to eat the deficit even though the dentist’s appointment is much earlier in the afternoon than when I usually write. Back on the bright side, I have a surplus of several hundred words, so even if I fall behind tomorrow, it should be by little enough that I can catch up with a few more 2k word days, which I’ve been able to churn out pretty reliably.
My goal today was to get within 2,000 words of day fourteen’s quota, which is 23,334, which means my goal was 21,334. What I got was 20,791 by midnight, although by 1 AM I managed to reach up to 21,781, which means I was only an hour shy of actually being on target again. I think my current outline will take me to at least 25,000 words and maybe as far as 30,000. I’m still not especially satisfied with the quality of the work, and I don’t think that’s going to change, just because this whole project is kind of Frankensteined together from leftover parts copied or discarded from other things I was or am working on. The point here wasn’t particularly to make the best work of my life, though. The point is to kill November, and I’m hopeful I’ll be able to pull that off.
I again hit my wordcount goal for the day about half an hour too late to technically get it done in the actual day. I’m at 18,729 out of 20,000 as of midnight, but got to 19,021 before going to sleep, which is behind, but catching up. Fatigue is a growing problem: I’m bad at getting things done in November, and the further into the month I persist, the more the overall quality is declining. I have to keep reminding myself that my goal is to produce anything, anything at all, in a month when I’m normally creatively barren. It’s fine if something like 15% of what I’ve written is so bad it probably needs to be cut or rewritten completely, and it’s fine if, even after revision, what I’ve got is still far short of my best work. All I have to produce to be successful here is something which is better than literally nothing. If, at the end of the month, I have 50,000 words which someone trapped on a desert island with no other means of entertainment would be willing to read, that is victory.
16,924 of 18,334 is slightly less than the 2k I’d been hoping for, and it’s also nearly a full day behind. The problem is, my hasty outline has more gaps than I’d anticipated and my growing fatigue is affecting my ability to write words that I don’t absolutely hate. Almost the entirety of what I wrote today involved the consecration of a ritual dagger without letting on to a bunch of anti-witchcraft monks in an abbey that there’s any consecration going on. Sounds interesting, but in practice I think the whole thousand and a half-ish words of it would’ve been better off with the characters just handing the dagger off to their hobgoblin ally and asking him to make it happen. He can turn invisible, so “do [thing] without letting the monks know” isn’t really a problem for him, and he’s been weirdly absent for much of the story while my focus is probably too relentlessly on the only two characters who were fully formed when I started writing. Everyone surrounding them is only slowly growing into real, actual people.
It turns out that funerals take up most of the day. I am at 15,036 of 16,667. That is nearly a full day behind. The good news is that the loved ones of the deceased are, so far as I can tell, holding it together without my help, so I didn’t have to blindly fumble through expressions of sympathy.