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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Writing Down the Home Stretch

It's Sunday evening, with just slightly more than 24 hours to go before my writing deadline.

The heading on this post is misleading. I wish it were the home stretch of the book itself but, no, it's just the first 50,000 words. Still, that's nothing to sneeze at.

I've been working steadily now the past few days and have managed to creep up to 46,353 words, leaving me just a few hours of work hanging over my head until I'm ready to submit my coded manuscript to NaNoWriMo.org for validation.

Although the first draft has a long way to go, particularly in the upcoming revision period, I'm starting to feel like it's actually beginning to resemble a book...kinda sorta. But standing at 50,000 words when it only reaches as far as the end of 2007, well, I'm lucky that it's not a novel. Novel lengths are typically 80-100,000 words whereas non-fiction can sometimes slide in as high as 200,000. I think if I'm not too afraid to wield that scalpel--or sword as the case may be--I can probably cut out the dead tissue and get it down around 100,000 words when it's finished.

In the meantime, I look forward to submitting my coded draft tomorrow night. Tuesday my neighbor returns from the UK and he's fully expecting to jump into my home improvement projects within a day or two. It's my hope to get the downstairs rooms presentable before my next house guests come at Christmastime.

Entertaining is wonderful. It really forces me to tackle projects like cleaning and reorganizing that I so easily toss onto the back burner. Much like my writing, I'm afraid. But that's where entertaining November as National Novel Writing Month comes in, to move me from beneath that Sword of Damocles and in to the operating room where I belong.

God knows, my not so patient little puppy can't wait. She's already trying to excise my toes as punishment because I'm ignoring her.

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