I just broke 6000 words, I'm about two days ahead on my word count and feeling pretty good. I'm already getting nervous about having enough plot though. I'm just over 10% into my story and I'm about to have the first murder, or rather the first body discovered. So that means that 80% of the story will be my hero team solving the murder/dealing with a few subplots I've come up with, leaving 10% of the story for denouement.
That seems like a decent breakdown, but I have to think of a few more external roadblocks to delay my protagonist from solving the murder because I don't want her to be plodding along, unable to figure it out. She has to be extremely quick, I see her as Holmesian figure (further explanation of her character is a few posts down under "National Novel Writing Month Preparations"), with a similar way of processing and using logic. However, in the character's timeline this is her first brush with solving a mystery and I've decided I really would like to write more stories about her and her sidekick that show her mature as a detective and develop in other ways as well- not all of them positive.
I've decided that if I finish a bit prematurely this year, I can start working on the next story, I've already scribbled down a few ideas for future adventures in my notebook. In the editing process I can go back and bulk it up.
Friday I plan on having some solid writing time while I sit at the laundromat, but Saturday I'm taking off from NaNo to work on my literary comparison paper due Monday and my paper on satire in Troilus and Cressida that's due the 17th. I need to bump that one up on my priorities list. When papers are assigned 5 or more weeks in advance it ruins my time budgeting. I always think I have loads of time. With a more constricted frame I am more aware of when I need to work.
I think that's another reason why NaNo is a good exercise for me- in spite of the somewhat negative reputation it has in some circles, it can be the perfect impetus for you to finally finish something. I do believe that nearly anyone can be a writer, but that doesn't mean everyone should. Incidentally, according to a page about "Icons of England," Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde during a six day cocaine binge. He probably would have loved NaNo, but it might have killed him if he were high for 30 days straight. Still, the point is that quickly written first drafts aren't always a bad thing, that's evidence of that. And no, I in no way advocate "writing under the influence" I'm just making a point.