Here I am. Just finished validating my draft of 50,932 words. I barely believe I made it – but those words came somehow out from my Mac, and the screenshot is there to prove it. Wow.
What my novel was about? SF, obviously. Like the French say, ça va sans dire. While I like certain kind of fantasy, I have severe limitations when it comes to actually write or even conceive one. Why? I will give you an example. Where you see a dragon that breathes fire, I normally imagine the equations that model the shape and the speed of those flames instead. (Or their chemical composition – depending on the context and the glass of wines I’ve already had. Chemistry suits me better when drunk. But you get the point…)
Was it difficulty? Yes. It was as hard as it promised to be, and more. That I could write 2000 words a day, I already knew it. Writing constitutes a substantial part of my job, after all, and I’ve published books and articles. But writing fiction is something completely different. Especially a novel.
What I have learnt: as Chuck Wendig has put it down few days ago on his blog, it is imperative to always finish your shit. No matter how bad you think it is what you have written (pretty bad, in my case – I was so pressed for time that I’ve not even re-read once what I had done the day, let alone the week, before), and any other consideration in kind (what the hell I am going to do with that anyway?), once you’ve started, you have to finish. I have always suspected something like that – and it is, incidentally, a good job practice too. Writing fiction proved to be nothing different.
Also, thanks to NaNoWriMo I have discovered new authors and writers, whose pep talks have been invaluable to motivate and console desperate souls like myself during sleepless nights spent on the keyboard. Even though I suspect I will only read in future books by the ones that write speculative fiction (time is such a scarce commodity), I am glad (and grateful) to have got to know them.
Therefore the balance for me is fully positive, no matter what will happen to my novel (now put to sleep until further notice. It needs some rest, and so do I. ) To the fellow writers still fighting to make it through the 50,000 word mountain: keep going people! The finish line is just there.