Time to throw in the towel. There will be no last minute rallying this year. By this time last year I had written well more than twice the words. Plus, despite thinking it a ridiculous notion, the characters actually took on a life of their own in Megalomania! and helped push the story along. Their personalities evolved naturally, and dictated their actions in the situations I created.
The Dan Brown Code was a flimsy idea based on my flimsy understanding of mystery novels and the utter inability to just let wacky things happen and move on. The reason Megalomania! works (as the overall concept of a story, if not the exact words I wrote) is because of its structure and adherence to “reality,” the very same two things that make The Dan Brown Code a colossal failure. But I’m not too upset. I had no drive to see Richard and Holly to the end of their story.
I’ll just chalk this up to the nature of NaNoWriMo. I’ve seen many people who succeeded one year only to fail the next. Though the reasons differ, I think a lot of it is overconfidence. Of course I can write a novel this year! I did last year, didn’t I? The third year in the sequence will see a return to success, however. I know I can do it (Megalomania!) and I know what not to do (The Dan Brown Code). Besides, this means that there’s one less novel of mine for people not to read.