NaNoMore… And More…

December 14, 2008

Since I’ve been so remiss in posting lately, this will be a long one, so grab a drink and get comfy.

I made a run at the National Write a Novel in a Month challenge again this year. Last year was great and I managed to finish ahead of time. This year, for various mundane reasons, like attending the funeral of a good friend, I just couldn’t finish it. My final word count was a bit more than 30k. That is fine though, since it was still a fun, though exhausting, learning experience while I got lost in a totally new story.

What did I learn? Well, here is where we have to dig a bit deeper.

I like writing short stories. It’s easy for me to focus on a small group of characters and let them share their adventure with you, the reader. The problem I run into with novels is that I love too many of my characters and try to give them all a bit of a say in the story. This is what happened with this year’s NaNoWriMo project. I have this wonderful idea for a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy that is part of my Common Ground corner of the multiverse.

The working title is ‘Shadows’ but don’t get too attached because it will change before it is submitted to the publisher. At thirty thousand words, you would expect it is about half done. No such luck, I’m afraid.

For those of you who have never tried NaNoWriMo, it is an intense run at writing 50k words in 30 days. That means a bit less than 2k per day and the idea is that you do NOT edit as you go along. You need to just write like the devil and get the whole story told as fast as possible. The following months are used for editing.

Before I knew what happened, the first of December arrived and I’m totally fried. Not enough sleep and way too many things going on at once so I forgot about ‘Shadows’ for a few days while I tried to catch up on the rest of the chores.

When I got back to it a few days later, two things hit me right away. Number one was the fact there are at least five good storylines in what I’ve written so far. And number two is that while reading it, I got confused. Now if the guy that wrote the damn thing gets confused, what is going to happen to the poor reader?

At that point, I started looking at my notes and at the chapters so far and realize there are way too many characters and way too many storylines for one book. So, this coming spring, I’m going to break it up into at least two and maybe even three novels. Just like the Guardian books in the Common Ground Series, they will interelate. With any luck, I’ll have some unedited excerpts ready in a month or so.

I hope everyone is having a safe and joyous holiday season!

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