1) They think it's awesome and amazing that I'm writing a novel. The people who say this often also express the wish that they could sit down and write a novel. This is a good reaction, and I like it. It makes me feel good to know that some people view my writing as an ambitious and admirable project.
2) They look at me kind of funny and are sort of patronizing about it. You know, something like, "Oh, you're writing a novel? How nice." I always picture their inner monologue as being something like this, "She's writing a novel? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Like it'll ever be published. Good luck with THAT pie-in-the-sky dream, sweetheart!"
I have to confess that I often feel like response number two is the one I'm getting. It's like people do that smile and nod thing. You know, the thing you do when someone says something and you have no idea how you can possibly respond to it because it's either outrageously stupid or outrageously offensive (or a combination of both), so you just smile and nod.
Well, today was a day when I felt like the whole world was smiling and nodding at me. Not good.
However, I did come to a realization about my novel. I'm trying to make a statement with it, and I realized that the first part of the novel isn't achieving what I want it to achieve. This might sound like a bad thing and it would be if I hadn't realized what I could do to fix it so that it would achieve what I wanted it to.
The problem is that it's going to require some extensive rewrites, which is something that's not in keeping with the spirit of NaNoWriMo. So, in the interest of adhering to the NaNoWriMo idea, I resisted the urge to edit. Instead, I added some things and then continued on with my story, promising myself that I will go back and rewrite when I've officially "completed" the manuscript.
Yes, this will be a pretty major change in the structure of my novel, but I know it's going to make it better, so I'm not bothered by that. All in all, it was a pretty weird day, considering I had the icky feeling that no one is taking me seriously coupled with an epiphany about my book that I think will make it much better.
Also, I recently found out that the novels "Water for Elephants" and "The Night Circus" started out as NaNoWriMo drafts. Considering how phenomenally successful those books are, I KNOW there's something to this NaNoWriMo idea. Sometimes, you've just got to reach out and grab for the brass ring, even if everyone you know thinks you're crazy and/or foolish for doing it.