I've pretty much given up on the idea of finishing on time. NOT on finishing, but by the end of the month. I just don't see it happening. I'm at 35,000 words, and not much time to write at this point.
I have 41 "major" plot points, and I'm at number 19. Wow. That surprises me.
A few things I've learned this year:
I'm a combination pantser/outliner. I had a basic outline written up before NaNo started, but throughout the month, the story has morphed into something almost entirely different. This is probably normal, as characters tend to take on a life of their own as the story progresses, and they change your mind about certain things. I had honestly thought I knew exactly how everything would go, but it's changed so much. Not that I'm complaining. I did have to go in and change my outline accordingly, because I can't just completely pants it. I just...can't!
This shizz is hard. Maybe it's hard for me because it's hard for everyone. Maybe it's hard for me because I'm just not cut out for it. Either way, I'm not giving up, because I love it. It's difficult, but I still enjoy it. I'll keep trying, unless I stop enjoying it.
I didn't think it was possible to have any more respect for authors. Obviously I think they're awesomesauce, or I wouldn't have a blog dedicated to the books they write. But I never realized just how much you have to put into your novel. I'm starting to wonder how they even make it out alive.
My story sucks. Well, I kind of like the idea of my story, (or I wouldn't be writing it), but the writing is horrendous. I cannot wait to get the first draft down so I can go in and edit the hell out of it!
All complaining aside: I'm having fun with this. I'm enjoying watching my story take form. Even if I don't finish in time to be a "winner", I'll still most definitely finish this thing. The first draft is the most important part, right? Without the foundation, you have nothing. At least, that's the way I look at it!
So how are you doing on NaNo? If you aren't participating this year, is it something you could imagine yourself trying in the future?