Week three wonders are really worth it. My novel no longer has the gangly ungainly look of a teenager growing so fast his body parts don’t really fit. It looks a little more like a young adult. Still kinda skinny but with the right clothes, it can pass for everything a girl like me could ever want in a novel. It will have to grow into young adulthood after a second look but that comes after NaNoWriMo is over.
But I love week three. Everything is so much easier and even on days when I said I wouldn’t write, I still found myself adding a couple of thousand words to my overall word count. It is a good week. But there is one characteristic of it I had never noticed before. I call it the: ‘You know my novel...Week.’
Things are going well in NaNoLand, characters have come into their own and you are astounded by the plot line that didn’t seem to mesh a few weeks ago suddenly makes more sense than even you could imagine. You are able to sit down and do 1,000 words in a single spring without breaking a sweat and when some unexpected twist shows up in your brain you don’t try to manually strangle it, you write it in and say, “Okay.”
But you don’t want to go through this writing adventure on your own. So at every opportunity, you will find yourself saying to everyone you meet – friend and foe, neighbour and stranger alike: “You know, in my novel...” Then go on to expound on all the joys and terrors of being that intimately acquitted with everything maddeningly and yet marvellously inconsequential about your current writing adventure.
Telling people things are going well just doesn’t have the same ring to it as, “My characters are caught in a battle to find out who is going to be the ruler of Snickersland, the wonderful make-believe place that is made entirely of creamy chocolate with nuts and caramel. They have to fight a duel with cocoa beans and the one who swallows the most without killing over wins.” You’ll feel suitably impressed with yourself – everyone else might think you’ve lost your mind.
But when you’re riding high on the joys of week two, you’re too happy to care what other people think; too totally awesome to let the minutiae of the non-novelling world touch you. You are too sexy to be ordinary – you’re a novelist. And though everyone is going about their lives as ordinary boring people, there is nothing ordinary or boring about what is going on in your novella. It is a wonderful place that embraces you with warmth each time you sit down to write yet another sentence, paragraph, page or chapter. It is yours but suddenly the act of putting it down on paper has turned it into something so much more – so much bigger.
Something you just have to share in any way you can.
I’m looking forward now not only to seeing how my characters will sort themselves out in the final few chapters but also in finding the time to go fix those plot holes I talked about before. The end is in sight for me and it is very exciting. And if week one was about stepping forward with nothing more than enthusiasm, than there is the promise of victory and the wonderful joy of endless bragging rights to look forward to when I cross the 50,000 word mark. But that’s a story for another time.
Current word count: 41,255
Music in my ear: Paula Cole