I’m kind of stoked. I started outlining my latest novel in October. I began writing it November 1st as part of the National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) challenge. I completed that challenge on November 13 when I hit 50,000 words. On November 30, I had over 80,000 words. And today–supposedly the “End of the World”–I finished the draft.
I’m excited, considering I had big issues with this draft at moments (mainly at the start of the month) As I’ve noted before it is my roughest rough draft ever, if my shortest (not counting the very first I haven’t published, which is some 80,000 words total).
I’ve had some realizations throughout the course of writing this draft, and as much editing as I know I’ll have to do–I’m kind of sad I’ll have return to the last chapter of my Herezoth trilogy before I can fiddle around more with this one!–I thought it might be useful to me to get some reflections down “on the page,” as it were. So here they are.
- I didn’t freak out when the going got hard in the second part. And I’m glad of that, because I could have. Instead, I kept calm and kept writing, word by word, scene by scene, not panicking that I might have to seriously rework this confrontation or that action scene later on. For the first time ever in my writing career, if I wasn’t really happy with the way a scene turned out, rather than overhauling things before I moved on, I told myself, “You know the basics of what needs to happen there. And you can tweak dialogue and descriptions later. Let it go for now and let the words flow.” And now, I can say I’ve written five novels, instead of four.
- I’m feeling more confident all around where my writing is concerned. Confidence is definitely something that waxes and wanes for any artist/creator type, but adding a notch to my number of novels helps me feel more like a writer than before. It helps me feel like I can do this, really do it. A part of me is convinced right now, “Hey, you wrote a 11o,000+ word novel in two months. You can pretty much do anything you want where fiction is concerned.” I think that’s what I’m most grateful to NaNoWriMo for, looking back.
- I had no idea I would recycle so many plot ideas from my first, unpublished novel. Princess Melinda, in my current WIP, turned out so much like the first princess I wrote about who falls in love with a commoner, that at times I actually typed “Cassandra” to refer to her before I realized what I was doing. Good to see all that work from the first novel not go to waste, but shaped to be more usable material than what it was originally. In fact, I might have to go back through the first novel, to see if there aren’t pieces of things I might want to copy and paste later…. (It’s not plagiarism if you’re stealing from yourself, right?)
- I’m sad to leave off this novel for a while and let it stew–I feel like I HAVE to get it in shape– but it’ll be fun to return to “The King’s Sons,” the last installment in my first trilogy currently with some beta readers. I loved this new novel, “The Esclavan Abductions,” and its new characters, but all the same…. this was the first novel I’ve written in six years without Kora Porteg and her brother Zacry, and I missed them! So it’ll be great to go back and spend time with them again. (Yep, that’s how I feel about my characters sometimes…. to quote Sheldon Cooper, “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested!” Well, no, she didn’t, but seriously, I’m not crazy. I’m just a writer.)