Update on My Novel: Month 33

JANUARY STATS

Days Writing: 5
New Character Backgrounds: 1

I had a couple months of excellent progress in my novel towards the end of last year. In fact, October and November were two of the best months I’ve had in nearly three years of doing this project. Things started to cool off in December, though, and as you can see from the numbers above, that trend only continued in January.

I’ve had a few thoughts as to what might be behind this dwindling performance, and I think it is because I looked forward to completing the first draft for so long that finally reaching it felt like coming to the end of a great journey. But, of course, that wasn’t supposed to actually be an ending, merely a checkpoint along a much longer path!

The more I’ve thought about it, though, rather than fight against that sense of conclusion, perhaps I should embrace it. I may not have completed the entire journey, but I did complete a large leg of it, and I think my emotions are telling me that I need to rest and restock before continuing onward.

To that end, I will plan on not continuing the novel during the month of February. I will instead lean into that sense of having reached an ending of sorts. I will take time to let all the swirling thoughts about With the Beast settle down. Then, in March, I’ll start the machine back up again, treating the second draft as a new beginning. I’ll come back in a month to let you know where my head is at, and what goals I’m setting for myself moving forward.

Before that, though, I want to acknowledge that while my work did not accomplish a great deal in January, I do have something to show for it. I completed the first of four character analyses, the one for William Whit. I filled out a more in-depth background for him, and also interviewed him at three different emotional states to get a better sense of what his voice should sound like. This was a positive exercise to go through, and I feel I have a bit of a better grasp on him now. It is something I definitely want to continue for the three other characters, most likely when I pick things up again in March.

I’ll see you then.

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