The month draws to a close, and I have written nowhere near the 50,000 words I promised National Novel Writing Month. By their definition, I am not a winner.
The idea for this novel has been flitting around my brain for more than 20 years. Four years ago I confessed my idea to my son who has periodically asked me about my progress. I feel good that I finally have more than a couple of character sketches sitting around on my hard drive.
Oh, I started out well. About 5,000 words into November, I realized that my antagonist needed more work. A lot more work.
I had given a lot of thought to the motivations and behavior of the protagonist. I know her inside and out, backwards and forwards, right-side-up and up-side-down...you get the idea. However, the antagonist in my story provides the catalytic event that changes everything. As I wrote more about him, he proved to be a cardboard cutout, not a fully developed person. I did not know him well enough to make him or his behavior real.
So I stopped writing and began researching. I read papers about his issues and began drawing his character arc in more detail.
I accomplished a lot in November, even if it is not reflected in my word count. Technically, that seems like winning, too.