See that progress bar over there? See how it’s suspiciously close to half-full?

That is an optical illusion, children. It is, in fact, just over half full: 25,838 words out of 50,000. It merely appears to be less than half full because of the drop-shadow on the left, and our general inability to visually assess exact ratios.

The novel goes swimmingly. The first 20,000 words ripped right along in the first ten days or so. I stalled slightly getting to 25,000 (which was my goal for Tuesday 11/11, but wasn’t actually met until Thursday 11/13), because I found that I had to stop and explain a great many things, and because my protag was recalcitrant about falling in love with his intended.

However! Things seem to have cleared up between the soon-to-be-happy couple, so I foresee sexy fun times at the end of the chapter, all the better to lead into the mysterious ancient artifacts and world-shattering catastrophe in the latter half of the book.

New goal: 30,000 words by Sunday (11/16) night.

Things are rocking. Having an outline of the entire book has been incredibly helpful, as I’m able to charge through the actual scene-setting without having to stop and worry about what happens next. I’ve discovered something about my writing process: actually putting words on the page is the easy part for me, the fun part. The plotting is the hard part: I usually start with a very vague beginning and a very vague ending for my stories, and I spend all of my time trying to figure out how to get from A to B. If I do all of the plotting up front, then the writing itself is a breeze.

Anyway, I was at about 8,000 words this morning, and by this evening I expect to break 10K. Two days early! W00t!

So this year I’m doing–or attempting to do–NaNoWriMo. Never done it before. I managed to finish my first novel without artificial deadlines pushing me along, but my second novel has been stalled for almost a year. I started one this spring, abandoned it about one-third of the way through, and haven’t written anything longer than a short story since. (Not that there’s anything wrong with shorts, but I’ve got books in my head, and they need getting out, too.)

So: NaNo. Today was day one, and I wrote in every spare moment and managed to churn out just shy of 4000 words. Woot! I only need 1667 words per day to win, so at this rate I’ll coast to an easy victory. I note with pride that only one person in my group of writing buddies is ahead of me at the moment, and after tomorrow I may be able to claim the lead.

(I’ll get one of those wordcount widgets up here soon, but the site is busy and slow today with all of the traffic, so it’ll have to wait for things to settle down.)