Elizabeth: Time to Refresh and Refocus

Twinkly lights make everything seem better

Twinkly lights make everything seem better

November is (almost) at an end.  I had planned spend the next few days basking in the success of a second year of NaNoWriMo, but that turned out to be overly optimistic on my part.


As I mentioned last week, my writing progress stumbled around week two and never did get back on track.

Though I may have missed out on the satisfaction of getting to upload my 50,000 words and put that “Winner” icon on my profile, I’m still going to count this month’s effort a success, for a couple of reasons:


I didn’t sustain my 1,677 daily word output, but I did write almost every single day, despite the fact that this November could in no way be considered normal or conducive to creative thought.  I ended with a very respectable 25,000 words, which is nothing to sneeze at.  At this rate, I’ll be done with the first draft (more or less) around New Year’s Eve.  That would definitely be champagne worthy.


I started the month with two characters, a couple murders, and a lot of snappy banter, which was fine until I tried to figure out the major turning points.  I thought my story was a mystery first, and a romantic-subplot second, but that caused some head scratching when it looked like the mystery was going to be solved way too soon, and more head scratching when my beta readers saw things differently.  Now I know that while Cassie wants to solve the mystery, what she really needs is family.  Conveniently, I know just the guy who is going to help her with that, once they stop working against each other.   As a plus, I’m thinking I can put Nicolai’s big Greek family to good use somewhere around the end of Act 2.  Maybe I’ll even learn a little more about that “Matrimonial Ouija board” of his grandmother’s.

So, not the direction I was initially headed with this story or the result I was hoping to attain this month, but I’ll take it.

And now, I’m going to take the advice from Jilly’s Switching Off post last year and take a brief digital break.  As you may have guessed from the picture in today’s post, I’ll be doing it from the Happiest Place on Earth, all dressed in its holiday finery.

After that, it’s back to making life tough for my characters so they can really appreciate that happily ever after when they get it.

How are things going with you?  Are you gearing up for the holidays, knee deep in writing, or doing a little re-charging of your own?

7 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Time to Refresh and Refocus

  1. 25k words, beta reader feedback and useful insights into the kind of story it’s going to be – that sounds like a win 🙂

    I’m still knee deep in writing. I’m happy with the way the story is developing. Like you, I thought the romance/relationship plot would be a strong sub-plot but I’ve discovered that it’s the spine of the story/series. I wish I could write faster, but so far that’s not happening so I’ll keep inching forward.

    Enjoy your mini-break!

    • Glad to hear your story is continuing to develop and that I’m not the only one who has had some plot / sub-plot reversals. Looking forward to actually getting to read your story after all the teasing bits you’ve revealed.

  2. The bits and bobs you’ve shared have totally gotten me hooked on Nicolai and Cassie’s story, and I’ll be looking forward to Jan 1 to maybe get a sneak peek (no pressure, really, just you know, people are waiting!).

    I gave up on NaNo at the conference I attended the first full week in November. Since Nov 1, I have written over 12k words in the manuscript proper, and I think I’m somewhere between 12k and 15k on the backstory scenes. I might upload all of that around 11 PM tonight to at least take credit for getting close to 30k words, even if I didn’t get there the traditional way. I can’t help it – I’m just a rebel at heart!

    • Glad I’ve gotten you hooked – now I just need to deliver on that story promise. Easy peasy, right?

      Sound like you got far more from your conference than you might have gotten from writing, so that’s a win. As for all your words, I’d say they all count. NaNo rebels unite.

  3. So excellent! And from what I saw, those are pretty darn good words, as well. Enjoy the Magic Kingdom!

    The big thing is that while NaNo may be concentrated effort, writing really should be sustainable throughout the year. After your break, you’ll come back refreshed and ready!

    I’m going to try and get my internal struggles last month down on page this December. It’s December 2nd here, so not too late to shift my NaNo (-:. And count all the words, not just the ones that seem to make actual story. Back to the basics: write what I want to write, not what I think I should write.

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