First things first:  Nanowrimo Word Count:  40,100 words.

 Not quite 6 on a Sunday evening, and my weekend goal has been met.  Which leaves me with a quandary.  Shall I forge ahead and see how many more words I can rack up tonight?  Or give the whole thing a rest until tomorrow?  Because I’ve taken tomorrow off, and actually have the unaccustomed luxury of knowing I will have at least a couple of guilt free hours free for writing.

Fast forward to 8 am on Monday morning.  Still at 40,100 words.  I guess that settles that question!  I did enjoy the pleasure reading, though, and I honestly think I needed time for the rest of the story to catch up with me.  This morning, while chatting with my friend Trudy  (who, by the way, has already completed her Nanowrimo project at 57K), I realized how all of the strands of my story are going to come together, and was totally amazed by how everything was going to work out.  It had set itself all up without me even knowing.  I shouldn’t be surprised by this.  It happens every time I write.  And every time, I doubt, only to have it all come together once again.

At 40K, I see where the rewrite is going to take me – which characters need more development, which plot elements need to be played up, and which ones need to be deleted.  A slightly different tone has emerged than I’d originally anticipated, and the plot is not at all what I’d expected.  Parts of it I hate, and parts of it I love, and part of it hasn’t been written yet.  I know, in spite of this morning’s moment of illumination, that there are twists and surprises still ahead.   I never can see straight through to the end.

And this is what I love about writing a novel – the surprise of unexpected characters and plot developments.  I can’t imagine writing from an outline – for me it would be the difference between driving the interstate or adventuring on a largely untraveled mountain road with a different view around every corner.  And yes, including the suspense and fear that maybe what’s around the corner is a car wreck or a giant moose standing in the middle of the road.  

Adrenaline.

I’m curious – those of you who do write from an outline, who plot and plan your characters in advance – do you get these same surprises?  Or do you just sail smoothly along without the fits and starts and rocks and wild animals in the middle of the road?

For everybody who had goals shared or unshared for the weekend, how did it go?  Did you accomplish what you set out to do, or are you regrouping for your next plan of attack?  Let me know how the world looks to you on this last Monday morning of Nanowrimo 2008.

Good luck this week with whatever stage your writing is at.

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