I’m four-fifths done so I might as well finish it

Watch out. Your characters may come to life and you may lose control of them. But that’s okay.

Yesterday afternoon I passed 40,000 words on my manuscript for NaNoWriMo. Only 10,000 words to go and I have until midnight next Friday. So I’m feeling pretty good.  One thing though: my story won’t be finished.

Yeah, I’ll have 50,0000 words but I haven’t even gotten to the part that I thought I would be spending the most time on. But that’s okay. You know why?

  • Serendipity–the story is ending the same yet differently. One character I introduced and who hung around for a few scenes was originally meant to never come back. But the whole story is starting to pivot around this character. It’s actually much more interesting story than when I started.
  • Randomness–I introduced all these characters, items and plots seemingly at random, yet somehow they are all tying together rather neatly. I’m learning to incorporate anything I bring into the story as something with a purpose.
  • Sentientness–My characters have become real living beings and doing things I did not intend for them to do. Why? Because it makes more sense for them to do what they want, not what I think they should do. It’s like I’m typing and yelling “Stop the novel! That’s not how it’s suppose to happen!” But they do it anyway.
  • Empathy–I am an empathetic person. Sometimes, it’s a double-edged sword. I get hurt easily. I truly feel others’ pain. I worry about people I have no business worrying about.  In the past, I wished I could bottle up some of my excess empathy and give it to those who really need it, but–wait!–I found an outlet. Being an overly empathetic person is one best tools ever for writing fiction. Hot dang.
  • Speed–Even if the story sucks, I’ve practiced my typing.

No matter what is produced at the end of NaNoWriMo, lessons are learned. If you are doing NaNoWriMo, take inventory as you wrap it up and ask yourself what you’ve learned.

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