Whether you’re right on track with the word count, over what you need right now, or have fallen behind, with half
the month gone there’s still time to stay on track with the storyline…which has nothing to do with the word count, which is the goal for NANO this month. 50,000 is more of a guideline, though to be counted a winner you have to bring in at least that many words.
But if words is the only goal, that’s sad. Words shouldn’t be the mark if you reach the point of babbling or telling what happens over showing your characters in action.
Whether you call it plot or storyline, whether you stick strictly to a pre-planned set up or are making it up as you go, both story and word count can come together.
50,000 words may not be the true middle of the tale you are telling. It rarely is mine. Sometimes it’s only the half way mark.
Right now what your focus should be on is whether the story is making sense. Does what happened in the pages already completed have logic worked into it? Is it a logical progression of reaction from the previous reactions? It should be.
While the NANO forces that be say “don’t go back and rewrite, don’t tinker with what you’re already written” I never follow that.
Because I don’t remember everything my characters have said. There might be something in the dialogue that I haven’t incorporated into the ongoing storyline. Happens to me all the time!
There’s also the logical progression toward what lies ahead. Because my story has a house remodel about to begin, I suddenly realized that there were a horde of things that needed to come before that. The remodel is the stage, not the main storyline. But the stage has to keep changing as work progresses – both on the remodel in the manuscript, and in work on the manuscript.
This is of particular importance if you’ve fallen behind your intended word count; if you’ve hit snags, dips in the action, stagnation where the characters might be talking to each other but they aren’t making progress on moving into the next act.
Think logical progression. Think of each action begetting a reaction, and that reaction begetting another. Look for things that might have been said or begun that fell by the wayside as you pounded out words.
There are still 15 days of NANO to go. Do more than simply turn in 50,000 words this month. Have a story well-told at the conclusion…even if it’s merely the first half of something larger.