Aside

In Which Sometimes Just Doing Something Causes Improvement

Welp, another year, another Nano.  Let’s get that graph up and be horribly embarrassed by my slacking—

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…Huh. Oh. Well.  I guess that’s not embarrassing after all.  In fact, it may even be nearing levels of respectable for a Nano graph. You’d think I’m getting better at this writing thing or something, wouldn’t you?

….Weird.

More immediately, did I succeed in my goal of writing an entire novel in a month?

Nope, not even close!  50k this month, nearly 70k total and I am nowhere near the end.  And surprisingly, I’m not terribly crushed or disappointed by this.

The reason being, it turns out that I’m not writing an 80k novel.  Or even a 100k novel.  Sure, I’m almost 70k into the novel, but unlike last year, I don’t feel off track.  The plot is moving forward slowly, but consistently.  Unlike last year, where I dithered around for half of my Nano word count before I finally jumped into the plot, everything I’ve written has moved things forward and dropped useful information.  Not to say that there isn’t fat that will need trimming when it comes time to edit. Oh my yes, there will be stuff to trim.  Internal exposition, repetitive descriptors, things that I took three hundred words to say that could be said much more neatly and clearly in about fifty.  But that’s what editing is for.  And even with that excess baggage, I’ve still got a long novel on my hand.

Basically, this book is shaping up to be one of those sprawling fantasy epics with ridiculous amount of details in bizarre areas that is (I hope) interesting and involving anyway. Most people who know me well, when I mentioned this have responded with ‘honestly I’m surprised you didn’t write one of these sooner.’  And it is true, I’m fond of that style of novel, so no surprise I’m writing one.  With a lot of gay subtext.

My estimate at this point is somewhere around 120k worth of words before I hit the end.  We’ll see how soon I get that massive chunk of novel done, as it is not the only project I want to work on this year. I’ve got a novel I rather desperately want to get edited and other novels that paw at me for attention. But I’ve found that if I have a default project I’m supposed to be working on, things go better for my focus.

Things I Learned:

  • Everything I write is going to be longer than I think it is when I start.  I just need to start accepting this about what I write. I write long things.  Short things are not beyond my grasp, but they sure aren’t what I tend towards naturally.
  • I’m not much pleased with my current job, but in spite of that, the work/life balance is not bad right now.  The amount of hours I work and (more importantly) the times I work seem to produced a schedule that made Nano fairly easy this year.  Not free of challenges or stress, but better than it has been.  And this brings me to the next point…
  • Which is the big one.  I have GOT to start writing more.  I don’t mean what I did last month, because that was fine. I mean in general.  I’m not sure I can keep a Nano pace up all of the time, but my current standard is 750 words per day. And I can and will do better than that.

Which leads me to plans for the rest of the year.  We’re starting with a goal of a thousand word per day for the month of December, as I am, again, traveling and holidays and other craziness abounds.  But I want a thousand words a day as a minimum, for all days when I’m not busy editing, because I need to keep that in my schedule. Also in my schedule, blogging more regularly, which may be the biggest challenge yet.

We’ll see what happens.  Until then, hope everyone had a good November and the rest of your writing year, whenever it starts, goes equally well.