In case you’re not familiar with it, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It is a non-profit organization that hosts an event in which thousands of writers around the world participate in an attempt to write their own 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. I planned on participating the year previous but backed out at the last moment. This year however I bit the bullet and did it. It was a long hard road. Around the second week I started to doubt myself, my ability, and the point of it all. Then I said screw it, I wanted to read my story, so I just started writing.
Anyway, I was behind the daily average word count pretty much the entire 30 days, but slowly and surely I caught back up to make the word count on the evening of the last day. A large part of my problem is that I still work very slowly, editing as I go, and going back as I write to kind of wrap my mind around things. This may just be my process I realize, but I want to get better at just letting the creative juices flow and writing without ANY editing, knowing that I can do all that nit-picking later when I revise the draft.
By the time I hit the 50K mark I think my story is maybe 50% complete. Some characters I had planned have yet to arrive, some I didn’t plan have appeared. A lot more back-story kind of created itself around two sibling characters that I hadn’t really thought out, and while they were to be major characters, I didn’t expect them to start to steal the show. Their portion of the story currently has become my favorite and I think the most realistic part of the book.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over I decided to set some new goals. Most writers recommend when in the writing stage of a story, to concentrate on quantity over quality, to force yourself to move forward and ride the edge where new, creative ideas are more likely to come out, and to make it more likely that you will actually get to the end. Later when you go to edit and revise your work is when you switch and concentrate on quality over quantity.
Since I had such an issue concentrating too much on quality in November, my current goal while I continue my story is going to be to set myself an allotted time to write each week, and then closely track how much I write in that time. I will try and increase my word count within these time periods. Time wise, I plan on writing 12 hours a week, writing two hours 3-4 days during the work week, and then writing 6-8 hours on one weekend day. This was what I had planned to do in NaNoWriMo but it ended up taking me MUCH more time than that in order to get the 50K.
So my over all goal is to finish this story, however long it takes. I will then edit it, revise it, and then see if I can get some beta-readers. Who knows I might try and get it published too. But that is in the future. For now, I got to finish it. If only so I know what happens. 🙂
My novel is tentavily called “Mystech, Inc.”. Here’s a brief synopsis:
Mystech, Inc. by Jeffrey Beaty:
This urban fantasy is set in a modern hi-tech world where magic forms the basis of the world’s technology, and science is considered fringe. The legendary Celtic hero Finn MacCool awakens in this gritty world as an aging drug addict with little memory of his past, and little will to live. He befriends a troop of street children and pickpockets, and the cynical hacker who has trained them. From one action-packed adventure to another, Finn overcomes his addiction, his past, and a number of powerful enemies from the Corporate Guilds that control the world’s wealth and technology. Along the way he finds these friends have become a family of sorts for which he is willing not just to give his life, but to do something far harder — live. Together, maybe they can change not just themselves, but the world.
If you want to read a short excerpt from an early draft of this half-finished novel in an Adobe PDF file, you can do so here: Read excerpt of “Mystech, Inc.”