How to save a (NaNoWriMo novel’s) life

I’m not sure there is such a way.  I am currently sitting at 17,043 words (according to the National Novel Writing Month word count validator).  I have 6 days left to make it to 50,000 words.  That means I would have to write approximately 5,500 words a day starting Sunday.  I’ve heard it’s doable.  I’ve heard that some NaNoWriMo participants have been pulling off 10,000 word days.  My own roommate has reached a one day word count that I can only dream of (last year; she’s not doing NaNo this year).

So how can I save “Strength of the Fallen”?

I could cheat.  I could quote from my middling selection of Neil Gaiman books, make up words, even copy in this blog post.  But… and this may sound crazy, but…  if I cheat, I would know it.  And worse, my characters would know it.  My characters are like the kids I will never have (unless any kids I have have magical powers or super-strength).  I can’t help thinking that if I cheat they will grow up to disrespect me, listen to devil music, have lots of unprotected sex, and follow herds of sheep off cliffs.

All of which actually would make very interesting plots, if I meant those consequences literally.  Which I don’t.  They just won’t love me as much.
But if I can’t cheat, then what can I do?

Answer: Establish new rules and new routines.  Drop any hint of a social life for the rest of the week.  Nix all word-count related goals – the only goal now is to make it to 50,000 words.  After which, some “Paprika,” webcomics, and lots & lots of sleeping will be in order.

I am still unsure of whether or not I can actually complete my NaNo novel in time.  It’s hard to look up from 17,043 words and see all the writing still left to go.  Still, it’s just as hard to look at my characters, my friends, my relatives, and myself, and imagine myself telling them, I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t finish a NaNo novel.  Again.

5,500 words a day.  Hmmm…

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