The positives definitely outweigh the negatives in this novel writing adventure. I’m giving myself a great deal more latitude to experiment than I would otherwise. And the word count goal keeps me from shelving this novel to wait for inspiration. The old inspiration versus perspiration adage definitely applies to this experience.
I’ve discovered, too, that the daily word goal is akin to starting a new exercise regimen. There’s some initial discomfort but the results are gratifying. Having a routine helps. It’s also been a great antidote for channel surfing, which I abhor in the abstract but too often succumb to in real life.
I’m also discovering, in this long form of fiction, my strengths and weaknesses. My greatest weakness is transitions. There aren’t so many in short stories, especially flash fiction. With my novel, I have to not only develop meaningful scenes that move the plot forward and develop characters, but also find interesting ways of stringing those scenes into a sequence. My strength has been the novel’s character development. The outlines served as starting points but I’ve made changes to the characters and their back stories as the story progresses. Now, my characters feel much more three-dimensional. I’m also keenly aware that I can’t manipulate them artificially just to serve the plot points.
I’m considering what to post on my NaNoWriMo page in the Novel Excerpt section. If I can get far enough ahead to give that some thought (and a bit more work) I want to post something tantalizing. But what to choose? I’m leaning toward one of the conflicts between the teens. I’ve written 15,000 words so far…somewhere in that mass of words I’m certain there’s a tasty excerpt to be had.