Can I do it?
I’m honestly not sure.
When you read this, it will be Friday, but right now, it’s Monday, and I am exactly 25,936 words behind for NaNoWriMo. One of two things is about to happen. I’m either going to give up, or I’m going to write 25k words in 5 days. And I really don’t know which of those it’s going to end up being.
Let’s get started, and find out.
The thing is, I HAVE to write at least 5k words per day for this to work. I can’t scrap a day and just say I’ll tack it onto the next day. This is A LOT of writing for one week. It would bring the bookstore boys up to 56k, which isn’t as close to finishing as I thought I was going to get (there’s a secret novel reason for that), but it’s well into act two, and I’d be happy with that.
I think I’m going to try to do this. 25k words in 5 days. It’s definitely possible. It just matters if I can stay disciplined.
THERE ARE BOYS KISSING AND I CANNOT
If you follow me on Instagram, I broke this scene down on my story. Which really just means I was a giggling mess on my story.
Long story short, I’ve hit my goal for today. It’s a little past 3PM, and I’m at 5,350 words, and surprisingly, most of that is not kissing, it’s just Émilien thinking about kissing.
Oh my god, ÉMILIEN. He was being dramatic, and Will literally just went, “You’re so French,” and now Émilien is the most ridiculous person ever. (He always was, it’s just worse now.) So I decided to pin some French stuff in the thieves board, and it’s got me cackling. Everything about that whole family is so French.
Alright, so I edited the two and a half chapters I wrote yesterday and managed to add 351 words to that, then finished up chapter fourteen, bringing my pre-lunch total to 1,813 words, which means I’ve got just a little over 3k left to write for the day to reach my 5k goal. Sounds like it’s a good time to spotlight what I’ve been listening to on repeat for legit two days straight:
Will is usually a Sanders Bohlke guy, but I was looking for something a little softer yesterday and I came across SYML’s new song, and damn. I’ve literally had it on repeat all day yesterday and this morning.
YES 5K DONE
Just wrote the entirety of chapter 15, which took a turn I was not expecting at all, and smashed it out at 3,763 words, putting my final word count for today at 5,576. And let me tell you, those last 3700 words were a struggle. At every moment, I wanted to stop writing and just read for a little bit. I’ll probably end up editing it to be longer tomorrow since I was just trying to get past the 3k mark and it definitely needs some work. And while I know that NaNo is about just writing, not editing, it’s really difficult for me to write if there is a chapter unedited. It’s how I write all my books. Anything that I write in a day will be immediately edited the next day. It’s just how I work.
But man, though I’m enjoying diving into Will and Émilien’s story and actually giving them a fighting chance, I miss magic like something fierce. I can’t wait to get back to the Saintsverse after this.
ughhhhhhhhhhh I don’t want to write today
I have 13,198 words left. That’s 4,399 words for the next three days, and I’m so over it. I’m not over writing, don’t get me wrong, but I’m over not writing about magic. Literally, the second I reach 50k, I am diving headfirst back into the Saintsverse. Eventually, I’m going to finish writing this novel, but my goodness, not right now.
Okay. I’ve got Sanders Bohlke on, I know what I’m supposed to be writing today, so I’m just going to dive in and start.
Alright, let’s talk briefly about Émilien and his parents.
They’re SO FRENCH. Émilien’s name itself is because I wanted it to be ridiculous and French and something that he kind of has a hate/love relationship with. His full name is Émilien Nicolas Bellerose (oh my god I know), but everyone usually shortens it to just Lien, and his parents are Nicolas and Violette. WIll calls them Nico and Lette usually. Nicolas and Violette were both born in France, so Émilien is a first generation American. They visit a lot since their family is all still there, and Nicolas, in particular, is pretty unhappy about having to speak in English most of the time, so he just went on a rage about the word overalls for whatever reason, so I asked all of my trusty readers what their least favorite English word was. They all had some good ones, but Jen came up with, I think, the best one because it’s terrible in both English and French:
primp | pomponner
I can’t stop giggling every time I type it. I think that’s going to be the bain of Nicolas’ hatred for the English language, though how I’m going to work it into the book, I have no idea.
Suffice to say, the writing is going well so far. I tacked on a bare 64 words from my edits of yesterday’s chapters, and then wrote 2,056 for chapter sixteen. It’s almost time for lunch, BUT I know exactly what’s going in chapter seventeen, and I just texted Erin that I was “about to break out my sad Tony song.” Prepare yourself.
There’s so much music in this post! Will is a big music fan, so there’ll probably be more as the week goes on. Last night, actually, we did a yoga class entirely full of Will songs. It was a lot of fun.
So, back in college, I wrote this intense, oh god it was 264k words, Marvel fanfiction that was just so mean to Tony, and anytime I was doing something awful, I would listen to this song. Sometimes, Erin and I would write sitting next to each other on her bed, headphones on, just in the same space, and all of a sudden, she’d turn to me with this look of horror and go, “Oh no, why are you listening to the sad Tony song?”
So. Things are about to get sad for the bookstore boys. WHOOPS.
holy it’s done
I just wrote another 2,684 words, bringing my total for today up to 4,804, which is 405 words more than I needed, and I managed to change the course of the plot all over again, of course. I’m tired. I’m going to finish reading An Ember in the Ashes, and then I’m probably not writing for the rest of the day. That last chapter was exhausting. My poor Will.
I have less than 9k words left. I can do this. Just not today.
Let’s start today off right.
I texted Jen today to say that I missed Sam Roth, and she agreed emphatically. Sam Roth is the original sad boy, and a lot of his music is Will’s music, so I’ve been listening to a ton of Sanders Bohlke while I’ve been writing this novel, and I just discovered this song this morning, which feels like such an anthem for Will and Émilien.
Will’s absolute favorite Sanders Bohlke song is Pharaoh Boy, and when I tell you I get the same kind of shivers he does during those opening four lines, man. What a song, yes, but also, what an album.
Yesterday’s writing started out fun and loving and just joyful, and everything was great, which of course means it’s about time to ruin things. It’s been good for quite a few chapters now, and I have two big things I want to happen in each boy’s life, so the second half of yesterday’s writing turned into Will’s big thing. It was so exhausting. It was so emotionally draining, and I was so glad when I was done with it. But, now the fallout has to happen, and the 2,775 words I wrote this morning were still pretty heavy, so I’m happy to have found this song and be working my way back toward the light. The next chapter I have to write is mostly fluff, just Will and Émilien lying in bed together. Émilien just stress-baked cookies (iced oatmeal, blueberry lemon, and salted vanilla toffee, you’re welcome), which I find unbearably adorable, so the next chapter will find him taking those cookies to Will so they can eat them in bed while it rains and everything is sad.
And then it’ll be good for a little bit before I have to crush all of Émilien’s happiness.
I PROMISE THIS HAS A HAPPY ENDING!
Yesterday, I texted Alex to bemoan the fact that my book was going to end in a cliffhanger, and she goes, “like you’re not the one writing it,” which just made me cackle. Thieves doesn’t end in a cliffhanger since it’s just one book and it’s just about boys in love, but most of my books do end in cliffhangers, so that’s a fair assessment. I was talking about An Ember in the Ashes, though, and I’m definitely reading the rest of the series. I’m kind of liking this one book thing, though. The Saintsverse is an unending series, the Pen boys is, at minimum, three books, and the sister witches is an undetermined number right now, but definitely more than one. (Gods above and below, I miss Theodore, too.)
Anyway. I have a minimum of 1400 words to write after lunch, and I’m going to try for at least 2k. I’m FINALLY reading What If It’s Us, both because I’ve been dying to do so, but also because it’ll be the perfect environment to keep me in the Will/Émilien brain.
I’M ACTUALLY GOING TO DO IT
I ONLY HAVE 2,338 WORDS LEFT UNTIL 50K!
These chapters have not been behaving at all, though. Like, I’ve had to totally change the plot of this novel in some big ways because of how I ended up doing Will’s big thing. And some of them just, like, hang out in the moment for a long time. I meant to do a lot more in this chapter in Will’s POV and then move onto something else in the next one in Émilien’s, but nope. Now the next one is going to stay in the current moment, but be in Émilien’s POV, and then we’ll move on in Will’s. Which is probably for the better, but still. I continue to have no control over characters, whether they have magic or not, it seems.
But the aesthetic right now in this book is THROUGH THE ROOF.
That’s it. That’s basically the aesthetic of the whole novel. Boys in love who read books. That’s it. That’s the plot of the book.
IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
It’s 10:11AM. I’ve got 2,388 words to write. Here we go.
IT IS 11:10AM (oh my god it’s been almost exactly an hour, that’s so weirdddddd) AND I HAVE REACHED 50K.
Specifically, I got to 50,113 words. Oh my lord, I did it.
So, looking back on this week, I definitely wouldn’t make myself do that again. I definitely did not complete NaNo in the way that I set out to or that I thought I would. I really did think that I was going to stick to writing every day, and then I totally just flaked pretty much immediately. I wanted to show you guys what my chart looked like during the month so that you could see how I did each day:
|Day||Expected Word Count||Actual Word Count||Expected Total||Actual Total|
Day 1 met the goal, and then I didn’t write again until day 7. I really tried to knock it out of the park those few days, thinking that I would keep writing over 2k each day, so that I could catch up, and then, as you can see, I hit another lull of just not. There was one burst of writing on day 15, and then I let myself do something dangerous.
I think I’ve said before that Alex the Destroyer’s novel is not going to be published ever, probably. I’ve come to the realization that it’s a novel meant for me, and that I even might not share the finished product with any of my readers. Once I kind of finally settled into that knowledge, I started thinking about the fact that I could then write a sequel. There’s absolutely no reason for Alex to have a sequel, but I think about adult him all the time, so I decided what the heck, if it’s just for me, I’m gonna write the damn sequel. So that’s what day 19 and 20 are, and I’m not sure if it’s actually going to go anywhere, but it was a really nice break since I was struggling so much with thieves.
Thieves, what???? Okay, the working title of this novel is a lyric stolen directly from a Sanders Bohlke song, there are thieves, who rob us blind, and it’s almost certainly not going to be called that, but I like referring to my books by something other than just “the bookstore boys”, and just shortening that lyric to there are thieves works nicely.
But this week happened! I managed to write over 5k the first two days, which meant I was able to slow down a little on the third day, and then I hit 6k yesterday, which meant I could just push a little past that 2k today and call it a day. And I am calling it a day. My plans right now are to finish reading What If It’s Us and to start reading Mortal Engines because holy moly, these last few chapters have been full of sad things, and I just need some time to veg for a bit. Part of me wants to start next week off by still writing this novel, and to keep going until it’s finished. Truthfully, I don’t have a lot left to write. But, if I listen honestly to myself, I know what it’s saying, and I’ll probably be making my way back over to the Saintsverse by the end of today. We’ll see. I may surprise us all and stick with Will and Émilien.
Until then, though, I hope anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo meets their goal today, and I wish you all luck in whatever comes next creatively!