NaNoWriMo Week 2

Week two of NaNoWriMo was just as exciting and fast-paced as week one! Suddenly, I have 36k+ words down in my manuscript and my goal of 50k is just around the corner.

However, there are a few problems I foresee looming in the future for POSSIBLY, TEXAS.

At 36k, nearly to my goal of 50k, I’m not even a third of the way through the first draft of the manuscript. To give context, the general consensus is that YA/NA novels should fall between 50-85k words.

Yikes, right?

When I started outlining for my manuscript, I thought this was going to be a YA novel on par with my other offerings, such as A SURPLUS OF LIGHT or GINJUH or THE GUY GETS TEDDY. All of those are in the reasonable neighborhood of 50k words.

However, at the end of the outlining process, and moving into NaNo, I realized that POSSIBLY, TEXAS was going to be a three act novel. Meaning, there where will be three distinct acts, beginning, middle, and end. It’s not as straightforward as many of the other novels I’ve written.

Right now, as I work on the manuscript, and I see what the word count is looking like, I’m concerned. Even with heavy editing, this book is going to be a chonkster. I know this because I’m not writing a lot of filler. I’m being concise and choosing my words carefully…yet it’s still a massive manuscript for a young adult novel.

Another problem is that I don’t want to cut anything for the sake of brevity. There are certain aspects of the story I could chop up…but I love them all so much. And this isn’t a situation where I refuse to kill my darlings–I genuinely feel that all of the elements are greater than the sum of their parts. The story just won’t be as quirky and charming if I cut things. Chopping it up will ruin the whole thing.

Furthermore, around the 25k word mark, I realized that there’s an aspect to the story I hadn’t anticipated. POSSIBLY, TEXAS is a metaphor for something…but even *I* didn’t know it until I started writing it. I’m trying to decide how much I want to lean into that…or if I just want to leave it really vague and see if readers pick up on it.

So many decisions to make and words to write still!

Regardless, there are good things, too! A beta-reader has read the first 25kish words and has said they really enjoyed it. So, that’s good news.

They told me: “It’s weird how it’s soooooooo you! Like, I can see you through your writing in this one. I don’t know how to explain it.”

So, maybe I’m really solidifying my voice as a writer. I’m leaning into that shit, maybe?

Questions, concerns…I have to say this is a book I’m still thrilled to be working on each day. I really think this is going to be a special one for the readers. I know it’s special for me.

I guess that’s all I have to share now, so I’ll leave you with this graphic I shared on Twitter the other day:

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

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