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NaNoWriMo update

Tuesday was quite an eventful day. As well as the temporary nerve-wracking at work as described in my other post, I also discovered that my novel was turning into a genre I really didn't want to be writing.

(As my first sentence indicates, the main character's sister gets killed in the first chapter. I do have good plot reasons for this, but I was wanting to avoid mistakes of the kind I made in Ultimate Dream where the characters didn't seem to mourn or grieve enough. The problem was, my book was thus being filled with grief and misery, which is (a) not something I have much real-life experience of and thus something I may be writing horribly inaccurately, and (b) not something I particularly enjoy reading.)

I spent most of Tuesday figuring out what I was going to do. In the end I decided it made the most sense to keep my chapter 1 as I'd written it so that my plot reasons didn't need reworking, but treat it as a sort of prologue, and set the rest of the story years later. His feelings of loss would still be real, and feature in the story occasionally, but it'd be less raw and immediate, and it'd leave my main character more free to get on with the adventure without getting overtaken with grief on a regular basis.

So I had to rework several chapters over the course of Wednesday and Thursday's writing sessions. It did feel a bit much like editing, which is something that's meant to be a strict no-no during NaNoWriMo itself. But I'm the type of writer who really prefers to have the early bits written when I'm writing the later bits, because that way I can make the little details tie in consistently with what's gone before. So I didn't want to just say "Okay, Stuff Goes Differently for the first few chapters; I'll carry on from where I am now, but know that things didn't happen the way they're written here", because it would get very frustrating.

As of yesterday (Thursday), I've caught up with where I was up to on Tuesday morning, so now my plot can finally get back on track, in its newer, less angsty version of the setting.

I'm doing a slight cheat, in that I'm keeping the wordcount from significant chunks of text that were written before Tuesday and are currently not part of the main story. Partly this is because I have been occasionally using bits of them, merging the newly written text with the old stuff where I can. Some bits of the angst will come back, a lot later. But mainly, even the stuff I'm not planning to use anywhere in the finished novel is still "words written on the novel in November". So I'm keeping it in my wordcount, even if just because losing several thousand words would be very dispiriting from my wordcount-tracking-spreadsheet's point of view :)

But it does leave me feeling a little bit like I'm cheating more than I have in previous NaNos. I shall have to make the story extra-good to compensate.