It’s just before midnight on the 21st day of NaNo and I am at 51,059 words. I’m simply too excited to sleep. This is a huge accomplishment for me. Even though I started out with some real confidence – that didn’t mean that I really believed I would meet the schedule that I was setting for myself. But here I am – I have met the NaNo Challenge of 50K in 30 days. Well, I actually kicked the crap out of the 30 days part of the program.
But for me it’s not over. I want to complete the novel and I would like to complete it this month, so I still have another 10-20 thousand words to write in the next 9 days. And I’m into the second hardest part of the novel to write. The opening is the toughest, but the ending is no easier for me.
Wrapping up a novel is tough. I have to find a way to resolve the primary conflicts and make sure that I don’t have any nagging loose ends. Nagging is a qualifier. I don’t have a problem at the end of the book if you wonder what happens next to the characters. I’ve done my job if after 70,000 words you still want to know more about the people you’ve been living with on the pages of my book. However, I don’t want to leave you wondering if someone lived or died. There’s nothing more annoying than a cliffhanger. I want an ending to the episode. Anything else is just a ripoff. I won’t do that to you, because I don’t like it when it’s done to me.
The other thing I have to do is make sure that there is a satisfactory explanation of events. It shouldn’t all be done in two paragraphs with a bunch of “and then” this happened. We’ve spent all this time together as participants in the novel – we don’t want to be told what happened after the fact. Often the revelations will come over the last two to four chapters. The bad guy and his motivations must be revealed. All the open questions about how something was accomplished must be answered, and we must know what happens to the protagonists.
Crap! I have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it in. So, let me begin by setting my goals for Week Four:
NaNo Goal – 50,000 words. Completed. Sorry – I just wanted to say it again.
Low End Goal – 62,500 which is the same 12.5 K I’ve been setting all along.
High Bar – 67,500. It could be tough to get there. I’m not sure of the number I need to write the final chapters and the book could end at 65K.
Cross your fingers for me – I’ll keep you posted.