Fifty thousand words

My goal for November has been simple: Sit down and write a novel of 50,000 words. At first, that sounded like a lot. 50,000 words, that is this blog post times 130 or about half the length of “The Hobbit”. Is that a lot, is that possible in 30 days? I had no idea.

Now that November is over and I have actually reached the goal and finished won NaNoWriMo, the most important lesson for me is that it is possible and – to my surprise – I can actually get myself to spend 2 hours a day writing, even when spending the rest of the day at my full time job. Two hours a day, every day of the month. Well, till about the time of the Hobbit premiere last week when time management started to be a bit challenging. Luckily, I’ve somehow worked it out, even without having to write through the night.

Oh, but don’t get me wrong: I don’t have a finished novel at the moment. As one of the essential “rules” is not to waste your time editing but instead just write and write and write, I did just that. My original idea has changed and shaped during the writing process so that a lot of scenes don’t play together very well. My characters are flat, their motivation probably unclear most of the time and the fantasy world I have created is full of inconsistencies.

Nevertheless, I now have a draft that I can dig into. I’ll start asking questions about the ‘what’ and ‘why’ and answer those with more writing. The good stuff in there needs to be found and extended and I’ll throw away or rewrite the bad parts. There is a lot of work to do but right now I am allowing myself a bit of time of not looking into the text. I feel like I want to make up my mind about what this story that I’ve created really is and then re-read the whole piece with fresh thoughts.

Also, the story isn’t finished yet. Right now this feels like book one out of three – let’s see where this journey takes me. But for now, I am happy to announce: Yes, I am a writer.