Thursday, October 25, 2012

National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month.

As many writers will be aware, National Novel Writing Month starts next Thursday. The idea is to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. I did it last year along with 256,618 writers. Officially, 36,843 wrote the 50,000 words. But there may have been a few like me who did not upload their 50,000 words and officially verifying them. After I typed my 50,000th word my brain was too tired to figure out the verification process.

I had hoped to finish the novel I am writing long ago so I could do NaNoWriMo again this year, but illnesses, life and less than stellar motivation have conspired against my writing efforts. But then I thought maybe I could use this year’s NaNoWriMo to finish the novel. I hopefully checked the rules, but they say the novel has to be from scratch. So I could join NaNoWriMo and pretend I am writing the novel from scratch or I could not join and just write the 50,000 words in a month anyway. I have chosen to do the latter.

I have the potential problem that the novel I am writing might not have 50,000 words more to go. After all, I am 104,000 words in. I think it has at least 20,000, probably 30,000 before its climax climaxes. But finishing the novel halfway through next month is not a bad problem to have as, yay, it will finally be finished. Well at least the first draft anyway.  

But today I was thinking, if I did finish the novel, I could then return to another novel I have started. I have two other uncompleted manuscripts. One that I wrote about 20,000 words of during a university vacation period and another that I abandoned after 45,000 words when I realised it might end up too much like Stephen King’s The Stand , which was a pity because I was just about to wreak havoc on Australia. But having recently read Justin Cronin’s brilliant The Passage, I think the world could do will a lot more apocalyptic novels with similarities to The Stand.

The 20,000 word manuscript would be the easiest to get back into. So if I finish the current manuscript part way through next month, I will probably restart it and hopefully finish it before next year’s NaNoWriMo. The more I think about both manuscripts, the more enthusiastic I am about both.

DiVine Writing

In other news, I submitted my twenty-fifth article to DiVine last week. It is about media guidelines for reporting on people with disabilities. The editor likes the article, but it won’t be posted until the media guidelines the article is based on are released by the Department of Human Services. I have another idea for an article that I need to run by the editor, and if the idea is okayed, I hope to write it before Thursday and the start of NaNoWriMo next week. 


Anthony J. Langford said...

Congrats on the 25th. That's quite the achievement.

What does Nano mean anyway, but a reason to discipline yourself. You can do whatever you want.
Perhaps your novel is really two novels, or a one story over two books. It's what I did for my YA series. All up about 175K.

Go where the spirit takes you. But this is your big novel. You don't want to rush the end.

I've opted not to do Nano again, though I can see its benefits. The rewriting took too long. It was far too rushed and probably did the two novels a disservice. A short term hit, but long term pain.

Graham Clements said...

Hi Anthony,

I know the start of this novel which was written during the last NaNoWriMo will need a lot of work. But my second drafts have always tended to be a rewriting of the first draft anyway - I am not like Stephen King who gives the impression from his book "On Writing" that his second drafts are just edits of his first drafts. Mine are near total rewrites of much the same plot and much the same characters, but in different words.

You may have a point with rushing the end though, I find that the only good thing about taking so long to write my first drafts is that I have a lot of time to think about them and ensure that the plot is solid and the characters are consistent.

I will see what happens. In my rush to the end, I might miss obvious plot problems and new characters might turn out to be hermaphrodites(I can't believe I spelt that correctly the first time I typed it either). I do plan to introduce new characters very shortly in another group of aliens so they might actually be hermaphrodites anyway.

I know how I want my novel to finish and how it should get there, but my characters always seem to want to take a different route from the one I have mapped out for them.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Sounds good Graham. You know what you're doing. I look forward to your surprise hermaphrodite character. lol i got it right too!


Ps - thinking of doing a part Nano myself. 1K a day. See what happens.