I think I can

Today is the mid-point of National Novel Writing Month. I’m closing in on 30,000 words and should be able to hit my 50,000 word goal by the end of the month, lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

Will I reach THE END of my novel by November 30? We’ll see. Right now I’m in the throes of the middle.  And it’s hard going here.

The supremely insightful Merrilee Faber and her post today, Middles are like macrame, showed up just in time. She put it so beautifully:

Middles, to me, are like a big macrame project. You get hold of this subplot in one finger, and then you grab that subplot and tie them off, then you pick up some character development and weave it through, and then you grab the main plot in your other hand, and don’t forget the theme, that needs to show up as a splash of colour, and then…

At this point I have a bunch of tangled strings in my hands and I’m hoping that I can pull them together into a more or less cohesive whole.  Getting through the middle is the trickiest part of writing for me now, but I think I can.

Last week I read an article on the 9 most subversive children’s books ever written. I don’t agree with the author’s choices, of course. Any list that leaves out Daniel Pinkwater is just plain wrong. Still, the author points out that in The Little Engine That Could, the little engine that ultimately Can and Does is female. I’m pretty sure if the story’s feminist little engine could hold a pen, she’d be doing NaNo, chugging ‘I think I can’ while racking up the word count.

So here’s to NaNo, here’s to W.I.N.O.S., and here’s to making it through the middle — whatever that middle may be.

Just say it: I think I can.

25 comments to I think I can

  • I KNOW you CAN and I KNOW you WILL.

    I KNOW everyone in our gang CAN and everyone WILL.

  • Keep going! And don’t worry, those dropped subplots can be fixed 🙂

    • Natasha

      Yeah, but can I hang a plant in this whole macrame thing when I’m done?

      • Writers usually hang their self esteem on it. I don’t know about plants.

        Also, I love being ‘supremely insightful’. It’s like a superpower. ‘Why yes, Mr President, I can give you an opinion on that. Let me focus my powers of insight…yes…yes..I see…uh-huh…Okay. Your problem with the head of state in Angola? Entirely due to his feeling of being slighted at the last white house banquet. I suggest you sit down over a nice cup of hot chocolate and sort it out like big girls.’

        Okay, so maybe my follow through needs some work…

  • I think I can! My problem now is that I’m at 27,500 words and I’m at the end! Well not actually at the end end, but getting close. Too close to make it all the way to 50,000 words. So, as coached by you all, I’ll keep going forward, and when I get to the end, I’ll turn around and start working backwards, adding here and there. I know I need more in the backstory section. I love my story! And I know we WILL ALL GET THERE! I know we can!

    • PW – This happens to me every year. Not enough word count for my plot. It does get frustrating when you go to write-ins and the others are saying they’re WC will be 100k. How do you get that much plot out of one story? I dunno.

      But yes, of course you want to hit your 5ok. If you have to write a 25k epilogue, so be it. Or a backstory about your characters. You can always cut it all out afterward. Or it may give you some ideas to add to your story later.

      • Heh heh heh You need two plots. LOL That’s where the extra words come from. Of course that’s easy with romance. You have the love story–and another story weaved in.
        PW, you can so this if you wanted to write more about the mother. Maybe she can have her own little subplot going on while Nate figures this whole Anna thing out. ?? Just an idea.

    • Natasha

      You LOVE your story — that is the fantastic part for me! I would keep going because you’ve gotten this momentum started — even if what you are writing from now to the end of Nov. ends up being a separate story once you get into edit mode. Like Kathan’s idea of an epilogue or embellished backstory or something.

    • Sounds like a novella to me 🙂 Don’t pad!

  • 30,000 words at the mid-way point? That’s fantastic progress. I know you can. 🙂

  • Yeah you!! Of course, the news about my novel is mixed. I am not going to hit 50k by Nov. 30 this year. My story was going really well until about 17k, and I felt it starting to go ditchward again (like last year). So I stopped for a couple of days, thought about it and came up with some good things for my plot. So I am forging ahead, but I don’t think there’s any way I can make up the lost WC, since we have guests coming over Thanksgiving. (I managed last year, but I was way ahead of my WC before they arrived, and just finished on Nov. 30).

    So while I’ve lost on WC, I think I will still “win” on some level because I am writing a decent story that I really wanted to write.


    • Natasha

      Absolutely you win. A decent story that you really wanted to write is key to the whole thing.

      I’m focusing on plot (I think I am, and yet there’s not that much action and I’m trying to show how and why the characters act as they do; give them their own voice) and so my language and sentence structure really are embarrassingly bad at this point.

      But I’m hoping those are things that can be fixed. Next year sometime. 🙂

  • You’re making great progress toward your goal. If you *think* you can, you’re halfway to doing. I don’t believe I ever signed on as a W.I.N.O. but I do toast you crazy NaNo writers. Of course, I do, it’s an excuse for another glass. 😀

  • Sounds like you’re on the right track to hitting that 50k mark! Congratulations on surviving so far. I like the macrame illustration. I’m not participating in NaNo, but I am caught in the tangles of the middle of my own WIP, at the moment. Here’s to untangling!

  • My middle is going in a direction I hadn’t planned. Those pesky characters have their own minds and they’re not cooperating with me. I love Merrilee’s post too. I’m sure at some point I’ve left a few of those little details out, it should make for fun editing. 🙂

  • I haven’t made it to the middle, but I can’t wait because that is where the really great stuff happens; secrets begin to leak, infatuations form, lies peek through their coverstories like a crack of daylight under a poorly weatherstripped door, and it means I am half way there. I LOVE MIDDLES.

  • I’ve decided to change the meaning of WINOS.
    It’s now Woman In Need Of Spirits. Sanity is overrated. 😉
    Cheers, it’s 9:10 here but even the flippin’ cork wouldn’t cooperate with me today.

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