I finished NaNoWriMo this evening! Still not finished the novel, mind you, but I reached and passed 50,000 words written on it. In three and a half weeks; this is practically a speed-writing record for me, and I definitely attribute the spurring-on to the motivation of NaNo.
I actually had a mid-novel crisis at about the 30-35k mark, feeling that the concept was dull and my characters uninteresting. Despite knowing that most authors start feeling this way about their story somewhere around the middle of it, and knowing that I’d gone through the same thing before with Magestone (though it actually came closer to the two-thirds than the halfway point), and knowing that these manuscript are never as bad as it feels and will polish up just fine with revision, I still had to seek external reassurance from my wonderful/patient crit partner. With that fortification I pushed through and I’m feeling pretty good about it again, for the stage it’s at.
I figure I’m about two-thirds of the way through the first draft, judging by what I know is left to happen; perhaps slightly more. I’m expecting the finished first draft to wrap up between 70 and 75k. Given that I have not once yet completed a subsequent draft in revisions that was shorter than the draft prior, despite my best intentions, I expect this number to grow once I begin to polish the story up.