Last week, I finally acknowledged to myself that there was no way I’d be able to meet my goal of 20,000 words written on the novel during July 2021, and I reluctantly revised my goal to 15,000.
Last night, with an hour and forty-five minutes left in the month, I achieved that revised goal. As Camp NaNoWriMo ended at midnight, and the calendar switched to August, my word count for July stood at 15,108. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t get my original goal of 20,000 words written this month. But frankly, I’m surprised I managed 15,000, with a strange month full of unexpected happenings, culminating with a visit to the Urgent Care on Thursday with my son, and another visit to the same Urgent Care on Friday with my husband. (They’re both fine.) Of course, a visit to an Urgent Care usually eats up most of the day, two days when I could have been writing.
Despite my lower-than-hoped-for output, I think I made some real progress this month, not just with getting words on the page, but with bringing my characters into focus; in particular, I’m getting a much fuller sense of my main character, Clare. Clare was always going to be the golden girl who is beautiful, brilliant, and athletic, with famous parents and a bright future. This month, I’ve decided she always felt neglected by those famous parents, though she had never voiced that feeling, even to herself. Instead of starting college with her Psychology major all planned out (because Clare always plans out everything), she’s starting as an Astrophysics major, because that was always what was expected of her. At some point in this book, or maybe the next one, she’ll realize that command is not about hard sciences, but about people, and she’ll defy her parents plans for her and switch to Psychology.
I still have a lot of work to do on Clare, and even more to do on the plot of this book. But the month is over, and I made it.