Managed to make it to 30,000 words! For the real novel, I'm about 1/2 way there. For nanowrimo, I'm at 3/5ths!
My challenge now is filling in the subplot. I've come to the conclusion that writing the main plot is significantly easier than subplots. The other challenge is that I'm desperately trying to avoid a "romantic" subplot in this novel.
So I've got the Sister. Who currently is still alive. I received the suggestion that using her illness and the time that Ella spends with her is a good subplot. Particularly since Ella can't stand the newspapers and Renee loves them. So I've got a bit of contradiction there.
I've also finally found my "item" that represents the story/theme. A pocketwatch and "Time stands still." I'm playing with the idea that the "point" of the novel is that you have to enjoy the time you have. That you have to be present in the moment and not worry about the past and the future too much that it distracts you from living your current life.
Now I just have to get all that through the novel!