NaNoWriMo: On the Home Stretch

Well, in a few days, it will all be over. I’m down to having to write 1500 words a day to finish on time. I haven’t written my 1500 words for today, but I will.

What I won’t do is finish this novel; I think I’ve probably about hit the halfway point this month.

Since this is a “rewrite from scratch” of a previous novel, the main purpose of NaNo this year wasn’t to create something new, but to see whether it was worth returning to something old — something very, very old. The first draft of this novel was the first novel I wrote, fifteen years ago.

About 45,000 words in, I’m still not sure whether this is a story that is worth revisiting. Last night I had the rather jarring realization that I think I’ve been going about this story all wrong. It’s hard not to feel like all those words written so far were wasted — did I REALLY have to write nearly 50,000 words to realize I should have been doing it differently all along? (Although, if I’m going to be honest and count earlier incarnations of this story, it’s really about 250,000 words later).

I’m still not sure whether I’ve answered the question I set out to answer–namely, whether this story is worth investing in outside of the frenzy of November. I know that after Wednesday, I’ll put this novel away for a long time, as I focus on my other competing writing priorities. There is something about this novel that continues to haunt my psyche; in fact, I think it’s something of a roadmap to my unconscious. Whether I ever do something “more” with this story or not, I have a feeling that even after November 30, I won’t have seen the last of it.

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