As of last night -- the end of Day 6 in NaNoWriMo, I recorded a total of 13,143 words. That's a good 3,000 words ahead of schedule. Time to celebrate, right? I could take the whole day off today and still be ahead of schedule.
So what did I do today? Exactly what every NaNoWriMo pundit says one should not do. I stopped writing and went back and read over what I had accomplished so far. Bleah! Despite my careful planning in October, the story had already taken over and started to run in a new direction. Once glued to the screen by the magic of electronics, those words weren't exactly what I wanted. I was telling, summarizing, and leaping over whole segments that in retrospect seemed pretty important.
Taking a sharp ax in hand, I began to chop up the dead wood and rearrange the segments into a coherent whole.
I had planned to start my story in 1906 after a brief prologue. Now the prologue is gone and the story starts in 1886. There is a new design for the book's exoskeleton. I had planned to use straight third -person-omniscient point of view throughout. Now several chapters contain journal entries that present transitions told in a first-person narrative. And that change moves one of my characters from being "just one of the family" to being the observer, the reporter, and in some ways the judge and jury of the whole.
Now that I've done all the rearranging, the cutting, pasting, and trashing -- I have four completed chapters and plans for the next two. My word count program is in shreds, exhausted from trying to figure out what I am doing. It says (and I suspect it is pretty accurate) that in three hours of work, I have added a total of 166 words to the whole.
I'll add a postscript tonight to see where this afternoon carries me.
An updated ScreenShot to finish out Week 1: