NaNoWriMo Week #1 Lessons

What have I learned from a week of writing dangerously?

1. My novel's not all bad.

Yesterday I reread a few scenes I'd written since NaNo began, and actually found myself amused by them. I was encouraged by this feeling, and it buoyed my spirits for continuing on my NaNo journey.

Regardless of those warm fuzzies, I've stalled today--but not quit running. Still, I've only made half my word goal. I am a few days ahead in word count, so I'm not too worried about words. 

2. However interesting those opening scenes were, the state of my plot does concern me. 

18K words in, and my plot is struggling for breath. I know I need to dream up some complications, but part of my problem in doing so comes from not really knowing where I want to take these characters, and from still developing my characters and plot in my mind. 

It comes down to this: I'm not sure where this novel is going. I have a few loose ideas, but nothing I'm fully committed to yet, and I'm a little afraid to commit to any one direction at this point.

I say I'm a pantser writer, but I at least like to know who my characters are before I begin. This year I failed to write character bios and histories for any of them. I'm really starting to wince as I get further into my novel and feel the time crunch. I don't have the chance to stop and write those bios now. (Note for next year: write character bios and backstory--no matter what!)

3. There's absolutely no time for writer's block.

That's the great thing about NaNoWriMo. I just have to power through the writer's block and find out what lies ahead on the path, what's inside the pretty little package I've begun unwrapping.

So I keep sitting down before my laptop and typing away, pretending like I know where I'm going with this novel, when in reality, the little I know about it is starting to scare me. 

What if it's not a genre I want to write? What if I aim for one audience and it's actually aimed at another? What if I do it all wrong? What if there's absolutely nothing special and unique about this novel? What do I do when I get to the end of my 50K and think it's all worthless?

Those are the questions that try to keep me up at night. But the answers are why there's a delete key.

No time for questions. Just write.