ROW80: Running out of Story

My NaNoWriMo book has come along quite a ways this week… in fact, I expect to finish it today or tomorrow.

And I don’t expect to hit 50,000 words until Wednesday or Thursday.

In other words, I’m running out of story. And I’m a bit shocked – if anything, my work usually runs long, just ask anyone who’s read Time’s Enemy or especially Time’s Fugitive. Even my short story, “Time’s Holiday,” clocked in at over 7,000 in its first draft, and the Home for the Holidays anthology required it to be 5,000 or under. It turned out I had some repetitious stuff, and stuff that wasn’t absolutely vital to the story that I could cut, and I whittled it down to size while making it a much better book.

The NaNo novel is already lean – there’s almost no description in it. That’s something I usually have to layer in during revision, but it’s even more scant in this book than usual. Then again, I’m just now getting to the big boss battle, and I do write long, so this may take up the words after all.

If I don’t, I have a plan. I can add an author’s note, and see how much that adds. If it’s not enough, I can start in on a little nonfiction project I’ve been meaning to write for a while – an instruction manual, of sorts, for my web design clients.

Here’s the details on my progress for this past week:

  • 12,000 words on NaNoWriMo novel, to a total of 43,000 words or more – Done!
  • Physical activity 5x this week – partial – got 4x in – not bad for having a holiday!
  • Hangar 18 – review and markup Chapters 11-12 – Done!

Here are my overall goals for this round:

  • Format and release OVRWA holiday story anthology – Done and now available!
  • Revise Hangar 18 – revisions/markup done through Chapter 12  (of 14)
  • Keep up with my exercise, five times a week – ongoing
  • Win NaNoWriMo – on track with 43,063 words so far!
For this week, I’d like to:
  • Finish NaNoWriMo novel
  • If NaNo novel is less than 50k, write author’s note and/or nonfiction project to add up to 50k
  • Physical activity 5x this week
  • Hangar 18 – review and markup Chapters 13 & 14

If you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing so far? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, are you on track to win, have you already won, or have you already conceded that you’ll not hit that 50k (which I don’t necessarily consider “losing”)?

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

14 Responses to \

  1. I’m not officially doing NaNo, but it’s good to try to get 50,000 words in your WIP this month anyway even if you’re not a participant. My ROW80 goals are going along swimmingly, since I took a hiatus from the WIP I kept stalling on and went to the book I really wanted to write.

  2. Thanks, Carrie-Anne!

    Thanks, Julie! I’ll hit 50k one way or the other – I think my book will be close, and the author’s note may be enough to kick it over.

  3. I’ve had a few moments this month where I’ve had the same worry, but then something happens that ends up fleshed out to a few thousand words and I stop worrying until the next time. I, too, am yet to write my big boss battle, and I have to have an emotional reunion between two characters before that, so hopefully that will be enough! Good luck with yours, I hope you manage to push through, too!

  4. Thanks, Ryan!

    Emily, I know there are a few places where I’ve dropped subplot threads that I’ll need to fill in during revision, so I’m going to add in some scenes to address those issues now. Hopefully that will be enough! Good luck with yours!

  5. You’re on the home stretch! Congrats for a great NaNo year.

    I write pretty lean too, at least in the beginning of the story until I find mine and the character’s voice. I have to add description when I edit.

    And the manual for your web design customers sounds like it will benefit you both. Great way to provide extra value 🙂

  6. Wow! It amazes me how fast you write! I am on the last chapter of my WIP, but I’m not participating in NaNo. I don’t write fast enough to be anywhere near that. I have been writing the same book for over a year, and no matter how much I try and push myself I still write about a chapter a week. I finally decided that this is the way I work so I’m going to accept it. It was the same with running for me. Speed is never my thing. 🙂 But it’s fun to read about your progress. It’s kind of like writing vicariously.

  7. Sounds like you have a great plan in place. I’m still going through my final round of revision on the co-written novel with Lisa, but I’m also picking away at a few of my own projects. I didn’t do NaNo, but I’ve been cheering on those of you who have.

  8. You have a great plan in place! I’m still going through my final round of revision on the co-written novel with Lisa, but I’m also picking away at a few of my own projects. I didn’t do NaNo, but I’ve been cheering on those of you who have.

  9. Thanks, Reetta! This is a first for me – usually my stuff’s too long.

    Emma, I’ll be happy to write vicariously for you! But I can’t sustain this pace for long – 7k/week is much more comfortable for me. And my revisions…. It’s good that you’ve found what works for you!

    C.D., you’re right, and I might just go in and catch a few threads that I dropped!

    Thanks, Marcy! Cheering is always welcome!

  10. I am so impressed by your discipline as a writer and person, Jennette. Many blessings on your work. Thanks for your visit to my blog. I think I can learn from you. You probably have a rigorous blogging schedule also!

    Shirley