Finish Novel by October 31? Challenge Accepted

A library friend of mine asked me to come to the library in October to share “tips” on completing NaNoWriMo since I’ve “won” it several years in the past. I agreed. And then I realized that if she is asking this of me now, November is not very far away.

This is one of my “on” years for NaNoWriMo — I tend to do it every other year, and last year I skipped. What’s more, I want to do it this year. I have several ideas, and I look forward to being part of the community that will be set up at my local library for it. I’ve never before had the opportunity to participate in many social NaNo events, and having a friend at the library who is heading them up can bring me closer to that comfort zone. There’s just one problem.

I can’t seem to finish my NaNo novel from 2012, which is a retelling of Rapunzel.

It sort of boggles my mind that a novel that takes place primarily in one room with three characters can end up being so much longer than my recent novella about Rumpelstiltskin which, while not epic in scope, at least had a fair amount of movement between settings.

I guess a girl in solitary confinement can have a lot to say.

I’m about 2/3 through my second draft, and I don’t want to abandon this project for a month to do NaNoWriMo. So if I can’t finish this draft in the next 2.5 months, that means I’m going to have to take this year off from NaNo. It seems a little ironic that I’m trying to write more so that as a reward I can write more, but there it is.

I write almost every day, but I don’t work on my novel every day. I rotate my novel-writing with book reviews, marketing, blogging, and journaling. But I think I’ll need to work on my novel every day, or almost every day, to make my deadline. It’s doable, but I don’t have time left to mess around. This will mean quite a few days of writing double shifts — blog posts and novelling in the same day, for example.

This comes in the midst of one of my primary clients amping up the amount of work they’re asking of me, sometimes bleeding into evening work, which means I need to start writing in the morning again. This is bad for the procrastinator that lurks within every writer, but it’s good for the rest of my life, and especially good, I think, for my writing.

At least, it better be. The fate of NaNoWriMo rests on it.