It's November 28. The month is almost over, and I hope all of you have had a good one. If you've been participating in NaNoWriMo, whether as a "traditionalist" who's pounding out 50,000 words (or more), or a "rebel" who's been writing short stories or revising something or trying to finish a book started years ago, here's to meeting your goals in the next two days!
And what about the Ninja Librarian? Well, in once sense, I met the goal: I've written nearly 60,000 words, and have a beginning, middle and end to the novel. But I don't have what I'd call a complete draft, and not just because it's about 20,000 words short of the target length. There are a lot of holes to fill in and red herrings to fry before I can call it a draft. So I've been working since Saturday to identify the missing bits and start filling them in, to give myself a complete draft to work with when I start editing in a few months.
So here's what kills me: I worked on this story. I worked hard before NaNo started, and I had an 8-page outline/story plan. And it wasn't enough. I still didn't know where to put the red herrings and how to make the reader hare off after the wrong suspects. I'm not even sure that can be done in advance, though my memory tells me I laid it out well for Death By Trombone and was able to cruise right through the draft. It's a safe bet my memory is playing me false, and this is the reality: first drafts are messy, and I will always write in too direct a line from the murder to the solution. I'll be working on fleshing it out for the next few weeks, before I leave it to simmer while I go hiking in New Zealand.
Here's to your writing going more smoothly than mine, and here's a toast to writing at all, whatever we have gotten done this month!