The Lady in White and the Dreaded NaNo

Well, here we are. The Saturday before Thanksgiving. Usually for me this means the final phase of the Countdown To My Birthday (December 2, if you were curious, which you probably weren’t; but just in case, my favorite color is blue), things like attempting candied fruit peels for the millionth time and checking to see if the plum puddings stashed in the back of the fridge from two years ago still look edible (answer: with that much alcohol in them, they should be good until the next millenium).

This year, it also means I have 11 days to crank out the rest of a novel I didn’t know I had in me until September, and which I have committed to attempting to finish by the end of November. November, for those of you who may not have known, is National Novel Writing Month, during which thousands of writers attempt to crank out 50000 words in 30 days. NaNo.

I have never done this before, but I figured my “minimum day” target word count–the number of words I have to do to consider it a minimally productive day and not feel guilty about spending the evening watching anime or diving into my to-be-read-just-for-fun pile–is about 1500, which is something like 3 pages, double-spaced. 50000 words in 30 days breaks down to just under 1700 words. That’s two more paragraphs than a minimum day. No biggie. At least in theory.

Oh, I kicked those first two weeks’ number-crunchin’ backsides. I lost a week to pneumonia, but now I’m basically caught back up. I can crank out another 17000 words, this I know. The question is, am I going to be able to end the novel–or get anywhere close–with those 17000 words? I write LONG first drafts. I overcomplicate everything. I discover whole new plot points at the 2/3rds mark. To say nothing of the fact that as recently, as August, not even the barest shred of this story existed.┬áThis is going to be interesting.

An especially interesting part of this is the villain. If by any chance you read my previous post, you know I was looking for one. Well, I found her, but boy, is she strange. She isn’t my usual sort of bad guy, and not only because she’s female. But she is based on a persistent bit of folklore that pops up around the world: the lady in white. However, most lady in white legends are basically ghost stories. My lady in white is…well, she’s something else altogether. And I think she still has a few surprises in store for me.

I wonder if she’ll be done with me–and with Natalie–by December 1. We shall see.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *