I guess you could say this post is about the good, the bad, and the ugly of NaNoWriMo. (I’ll get to that…. please bear with me)
I still am not completely sure how I’m going to end “The Esclavan Abductions,” my NaNo novel for 2012, but with 100,000 words I’m definitely closing in on the final scene or two. I know I need one last conversation between my lovebirds, and I need protagonist Zate Polve to pay his father in prison a visit and then go back to the village of Carphead to see his innkeeper friend and father-figure. This will actually tie things up in a nice circle (geographically) for the novel, which starts in Carphead: I’m only just considering that, and I like the idea of that frame.
Anyway, I have a few ideas still up in the air I need to sort out, but the one thing I am 100% positive about at this point:
This is the ROUGHEST first draft I have ever penned.
I have so many inconsistencies, flaws, and holes that I shudder to consider them all. Dang, this edit is going to be something! Here are just a few of the issues I have to sort out (in case you care. If not, feel free to skip the woefully long list):
- I added a subplot this week. At 90,000+ words. It involves released convicts from the capital’s jail who in no way figured into the story until after some 90,000 words. (Yea for being a pantser, I guess.) I definitely have to have these criminals mentioned a couple of times before they appear out of nowhere at the end.
- I have characters (some major ones, like an evil sorceress and the head of that band of convicts mentioned above) whom I don’t have last names for. They’re going to need last names. And I’m going to have to insert them throughout the novel where appropriate as I read through.
- A romance subplot feel stale and cliche to me. I don’t know what I’ll end up doing with it, how I’ll fix that.
- There are major cultural concepts–like Herezoth’s religion–that I threw in references to throughout the draft without explanations.
- I have some noble characters I’ll have to insert into scenes throughout the early sections. And I’m only just realizing this as I’m reaching the end.
- I think I need some major changes in the economic situation of the slave kingdom Esclavay to justify a war I’m writing about.
These issues are really weighing on me. I guess, as I said above, it all boils down to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of NaNoWriMo.
THE GOOD: I have written over 100,000 words in 42 days. I can realistically finish this draft before 2013. That’s pretty dang exciting. And that’s the reason, despite what I’m about to say, I’m extremely glad I did NaNoWriMo and grateful to those who established the challenge.
THE BAD: That draft, as I said, is the roughest I’ve ever put together. Yes, I’ve gotten words on the page, but my story is more “here, there, and everywhere” than whomever the Beatles wrote that beautiful song for. Somehow my draft doesn’t feel cohesive even though I wrote with an outline for some 75-80% of the total content. While I didn’t stop the flow of creativity to make sure things connected well and I had a solid framework, thus pumping out the words…. Now I’m not sure things connect well in a lot of instances.
THE UGLY: The frustration I’m now feeling at the state of this project. I don’t doubt it’ll all come together in the end. I’ll smooth it out, and like I said, I don’t regret doing NaNoWriMo at all. But man…. I am way too perfectionistic for this!
PRIORITY ONE: get the draft done. No matter how bad I judge it. Then I can go on to get “The King’s Sons” ready for publications, then return to “The Esclavan Abductions.” Ah, the life of a writer!