It’s NaNo time, and that means voluntary brain abuse. That means hours of neglect. That means awfully terrible really badly written horrible long and extended run on sentences just for that mean “word count” monster bad-guy thing.
It also means (for me) the dreaded restart.
It doesn’t happen every year, but some writing projects I get started working on them, get a good couple thousand words, and then I get irrevocably stuck. I squander around for a few days, watching that par line on the NaNoWriMo site get further and further away. And then I come to a tough but requisite decision, and that is to do a restart.
The problem usually is that I know where I want to go (I have a specific ending in mind) and I just want to get there, and it’s almost as if I forget that I have to write fifty thousand words before I say “and they lived happily ever after”… or they didn’t, however the case may be.
The dreaded restart happened a total of four times on my 2013 novel. By the end of the month, yes, I had 50,000 words under my belt, but I only used 18,000 words in the finished novel. The thing was, that final beginning that I ended up getting 18,000 words for, was the right beginning. I couldn’t get anywhere on the novel because, although I knew where I was going, I didn’t know where I was coming from. For me, that’s just as important.
So at 2/3rds of the way through November, there I was, back on chapter five, but this time, it was the right chapter five, and that mades all the difference. And I don’t feel like those other words I wrote were wasted. I’m still counting them toward my NaNo goal, and there was a lot of character development in them, and ideas and scenes I’ll be using in the new beginning.
Time to get pounding, because I am going to finish this novel this month. I’ve finally started in the right place, and I’m ready for that magical NaNoWriMo flow stuff I love so much! In the last five days I have upped my word count, constantly getting closer to that par line until, (possibly the last day of the month) I finally catch up.
So what about you, my many NaNoWriMo friends? Have you ever restarted a novel halfway (or more) through the month? More than once in the month? Did it help?
Have fun, and enjoy the writing!