On giving up NaNoWriMo – and finishing something else instead!

Hey guys.

You may remember from my last post that I said I was not even going to attempt to finish NaNoWriMo, and I stand by that point. I’m really glad I could make a start on Kelly Kaptur’s personal story, but the problem with introducing a character in a prior, unfinished project is that you don’t know where they’re really going to end up.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Kaptur was obviously going to survive through her introduction in Hikari’s Coma by the fact I even started writing The Legion of Truth. I just had to know what happened to everyone else, what caused the changes in her personality, what made her tick. For that reason, I finished up my second draft of Hikari’s Coma this weekend. Although it’s more of a first-and-a-half draft – I couldn’t help editing while I was writing, so the first half is pretty much spot on, whereas the latter half is in that bits and pieces, could be way better stage.

And I’m happy about it. I really am! It’s not the same kind of happiness as when I finished my first draft of the second version of Industrial Espionage (complicated, much?) – that was more relief than happiness. This is more a sensation of contentment, that I’ve finally put that chapter of this saga to bed. Obviously, I can’t go into massive detail without spoilers, but the last few chapters were tough. The first ending I wrote was stupid.

This_is_stupid_Large
Me, realising the first ending was stupid. (No, just kidding this is John from Homestuck, I don’t look that classy.)

It just didn’t have the emotional impact I wanted, nor the resolution I was hoping for. The story just seemed to peter out into a relatively depressing conclusion, much like the ending of a terrible television series, the kind that leaves you sat in the living room going, ‘well, I just wasted all my evenings for the past 8 weeks for this crap’.

Also, it didn’t involve a giant robot, and seeing as this is a book about a girl who builds a giant robot, I thought that was pretty disingenuous of me. Geez, I’m an asshole. Why did I even think that was a good idea?

Self-deprecation aside, I am really pleased with how it’s turned out. My next plan is to finish editing it and get it out there: a short first read for those who have stuck by me. I’ve sketched out a design for the front cover, and I’m going to attempt to colour it digitally on Thursday when I have my day off (I am looking forward to it so much!). I’ll drop an image of my new cover about the internets when I’ve done with it. Hope you like it!

NaNoWriMo 2013 Day 23

So, it’s been ages since I last checked in!

You have my sincerest apologies for that. I suppose my main reason for this, other than being incredibly busy of late, is that I have decided that I am not going to attempt to reach the 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo this year. Why? Because I don’t want writing The Legion of Truth to feel like a chore. I began writing it because I really enjoyed the character of Kelly Kaptur and her comrades, the way they counter one another in one way and complement each other in another. The reason I’ve stopped, or slowed to a snail’s pace is because the latter half of the story wasn’t planned out, and I need time to do that.

Time, it must be said, is not something NaNoWriMo lends a writer. Because of that, I have neglected to work on my almost-finished Camp NaNoWriMo project, Hikari’s Coma, and am still stuck in a rut with 2011’s NaNoWriMo project, Industrial Espionage. So, in the spirit of being clever and stuff, I have come up with a plan for the next few months… providing I don’t get any major news, of course.

Step one, is to finish Hikari’s Coma and get it out there! With a heavily edited storyline, which is freer of continuity errors than most Hollywood blockbusters, I only have to finish the last few chapters and get a cover prepared. That way, I can really start promoting my writing because hey, you can actually buy one of my books at that point.

Step two, possibly in parallel with step one, is to plan out the latter half of The Legion of Truth. And possibly think of a less crappy title, because the more I write it, the less I like it. There have been a few ideas I’ve come up with as of late, and I might even set it to a poll or something, although Facebook’s stupid page algorithm might ruin this idea quite horribly. I’ll see if I can get around it.

Step three, is to get a solid chapter-by-chapter plan for Industrial Espionage. With a word count of over 100,000 words for my last draft of it, it’s going to be a major project to overhaul that amount of story, as well as to keep track of its nuances and side-stories. Unlike Hikari and Kelly’s stories, Industrial Espionage follows a considerable number of characters, rather than sticking to a single point of view, which makes it even harder to keep track of things. There are all those questions; did so-and-so tell so-and-so this? Did I allude to this major historical event? Did I really write that or was I imagining it?

That’s my little plan so far. All this being said though, I do hope that you who are doing NaNoWriMo are having an excellent time of it, and that your characters are lively and inventive, and your plot thick and rich like so much delicious Sunday roast gravy. I also hope that you do manage to reach the 50,000 words, it is a wonderful achievement and you have every right to feel proud of yourself for reaching it, especially if you are working around other time constraints, such as employment, childcare, illness and things like that.

And whether or not you’re involved with NaNoWriMo, thank you very much for reading.

NaNoWriMo 2013 Day 4

Hey again, I guess I didn’t really do a great job of keeping up with the daily blogging. In my defense, I did have a very busy weekend (job interview in London on Saturday and working 9 hours on Sunday), so… deal with it. In the nicest possible way, of course.

I think my main character may be seeping into my personality. As a polite individual, I feel this is probably not the best thing ever.

Anyway, the book is into its fourth chapter and I am currently just short of 8,000 words, which puts me well ahead of the daily amount. At present, my ‘words a day to finish on time’ is 1,557 instead of 1,667 and if I carry on at this rate, I’ll be done by November 26th (which if I can do that I will be a very happy human being).

I am trying not to be discouraged by only slightly topping the word count each day. It’s a little intimidating to see that some people have literally finished their entire NaNo only 3 or 4 days in. But I remind myself that I am only human, caffeine seems to have little or no effect on me, and I have to work a 6 hour day with 1 hour of travel either way. I also seem to have lost my rather helpful teenage ability to live on 3 hours’ sleep.

I hope everyone else who is participating is doing well and most of all enjoying it, regardless of their word counts or whether they think they’ll finish on time or not. At the end of the day, you’re writing, and that’s the first step.

NaNoWriMo 2013 Day 1

Well, National Novel Writing Month is off to a flying start, it seems! The forums and Facebook group are populated with chatter, the word counts are rising and novels are being written in various genres.

I’m already onto the second chapter of The Legion of Truth, with a word count of 3085 and a swear count of 15. For now. It is, as I had expected, wonderfully liberating to write a character who doesn’t mince her words. I had a brief taster of that when I wrote her into¬†Hikari’s Coma, but this is even better. She’s intelligent, and she knows her technology, but she isn’t afraid to show she’s pissed off when she actually¬†is. I’m not sure about other writers, but I can always use a character like that.

Then, you’ve got the character who goes by the name of Garnet, a woman who is well-spoken, all about the mission. She wasn’t intended to operate as a foil against my protagonist, Kelly Kaptur, but they do have an air of that about them. I’m still setting the scene at the moment, but things have already been drenched in a concoction of guns and adrenaline, and we’re not even into the ‘meat’ of the story as it were. Or main course, if you’d prefer a more vegetarian-friendly term.

That’s just my little update for today, hopefully I’ll have more to tell you tomorrow as long as my job interview doesn’t entirely exhaust me in terms of anxiety! I’m sure I’ll be fine, nonetheless, but wish me luck on both fronts!