That moment is great. That moment where one of your character takes control, it amazed me today. It happened at around 20,000 words. She wanted to do it, I had to let her and what transpired was perfect. It moved the plot opened up another world of possibilities for the story and made it organic. This is my first novel, and if this happens quite often I can see myself doing this forever. It was exhilarating and very satisfying.
I just calculated my time frame for finishing the first draft. I
averaged about 5000 words every 6 days. I can probably speed that up,
but I've been writing short stories and flash fiction on the side so
that slows me down a bit. I'm okay with that. I feel doing the shorts
has helped me with my dialogue and beats and has helped me orchestrate
better scenes in the novel. At this rate I should finish the first
draft by the middle of May. Much longer than I had anticipated, but I
guess that's the way it goes.