NaNo 2014 Wrap Up

So, it’s another year, another graph.

nano2014graph

See that lovely dip in the middle? I call that the chasm of hell. It was Not A Good Week (Or So). Overall, it was a bit tough for a Nano. I had a lot of trouble finding focus. The ideas were there and the words came, but only after a lot of failed attempts to corral myself and a great deal of rampant internet clicking. It’s been that way since mid-October and I think it’s mostly stress related.

On the bright side, WORDS! They did happen, a whole 50k and on only three different stories! Considering the three stories are the major three novels I’ve got in the works, I feel pretty good about that.

Breakdown by Percentage:
The Crowned Act: 36% (18,289 words added)
Itzie and Rodney II: 37% (19,201 words added)
Thrall: 27% (13,635 words added)

The amusing thing is that all three works are now roughly the same length. Here’s their current word count:
The Crowned Act: 38,248 words
Itzie and Rodney II: 35,577 words
Thrall: 37,762 words

I started strongest on The Crowned Act, which is why it got to be my title novel (and also, it has the best title out of all three major works this month). However, that flurry of words died off by the end of the month. Still got a lot of words to it, but I added a subplot that I’m questioning. Is it a good subplot? A useful subplot? Have I lost sight of the heart of the book? What was the heart of the book anyway? At the moment, I can’t tell if I’ve actually lost my direction or if I’m just suffering a terrible case of Second Book Second Guessing. Part of me suggests continuing recklessly. Part of me suggests doing revisions on book one before I go further. Mostly, I’m not worrying about it and will circle back to the work when I’m ready. I’ve noticed I cycle through projects roughly every two to three weeks, so I know I’ll be back to this one later.

Itzie and Rodney’s second novel had the least words going into it and got the most words added. While the writing has been sprawling and will need some serious focus in drafting, I’m pleased with how it is going. I have finally found a solid plot for it. Which is good because I tried three or four different plots before finding the one that actually seems to be the right shaped and themed plot for book two. I have mentioned, right, that second books are apparently way harder than first books? Because they are.

Thrall was worked on mostly towards the end of the month and is still getting most of my focus. It has hit its stride and is growing rapidly. It… also involves bondage and I sort of wrote a scene about bondage on an airplane and I think the people sitting in the row with me noticed.

So yeah. Thank you, Thrall, thank you NaNoWriMo. Because of you, I am now That Person on the plane. The one writing BDSM where anyone could see.

GOOD JOB SELF. And with that thought, I close out November.

White Rabbit: Opal Edition

Pppppppt, September.  Let me sum up my feelings of the month thusly.

Accomplished little visible last month, all told. Did not get my editing done. Did not do much in terms of word count. Scraped by, which is never a great feeling. Mostly, it was a month of scribbling. It was the equivalent of an artist sitting down with a sketchbook and just doodling whatever. Sometimes it’s a necessary, but when you’re sitting there surrounded by scenes that aren’t attached to anything and may never be, it doesn’t feel productive.

Still, did get a draft of a short story done, so I’m rounding that up to four projects for the year, thus completing that goal. While I don’t feel good about September, it was a rough month on other fronts and I did get some good work out of it at the end of things.

So now we’re sliding through October and the question of what the hell do I want to write for Nano next month? Here are the big contenders that are on my radar at this early point in the month, though I make no promises that I won’t go sheering off into a whole new and unexplored territory, probably on October 31st.

The Crowned Act
The sequel to the Collared Act. Burlesque clubs, out of place slaves, foreign royals, and language fuckery.
Advantages: The first was a blast to write and kept getting words tacked on every time I turned around.
Disadvantages: I… don’t actually have much plot? It’s always been a character-centric work, so much of the plot will come out of how characters clash and bounce off of each other. May throw in some multiple homicides, those fix everything in novels, right? Don’t answer that.

Untitled Itzie and Rodney Sequel
A gay necromancer and a seven foot tall lizard woman continue their friendship. May involve vampires, fairies, zombies, murder sprees, and one undead cat. Or may not.
Advantages: Banter. Banterbanterbanterbanter. It’s easy to get these two chattering at each other, which keeps the words flowing on the page. Also continue to have good thoughts about the future for this series. It’s fun and less weird than some of my other stuff, while still carrying its own unique accent marks.
Disadvantages: The plot is starting to come together, but is still pretty loose at this point. This is one where I’m worried I’ve got too many things trying to be crammed into one book. On the one hand, I can always triage the plot AFTER I’ve managed 50k words. On the other hand, I’m trying to work on writing tighter drafts the first time around. So I’d really rather NOT. But hey, however the novel gets written.

Thrall
Gay BDSM smut with consensual magical mind control interspersed with magical detective agency shenanigans. Or maybe vice-versa?
Advantages: This one’s on my mind currently, I’ve been hammering out the plot, and I’m pretty sure I can do something with it when it’s done.
Disadvantages: So I spent last night hammering out the details of one of the mysteries, because I have made a new rule for myself where I’m not allowed to do any murder mysteries unless I KNOW who did it. And I actually succeeded! Got the basic shape down, I know where the twists are, and damn, it looks like it’ll be a good mystery! Aaaaand then this morning, I realized that thematically, it’s completely inappropriate for the first book. And yes, I am aware how nerdy it is to be concerned with theme in a work that is one half gay smut. The point still stands and the upshot is that plot. Once again, I have to build that up out of nowhere.

Dragon Bride
Knights, dragons, and unexpected gayness because the princess decided to go have her own adventure. Intended to be novella, but who knows.
Advantages: Few expectations exist for this work, so I can write a little wild. I’m going for a shorter work, so in theory, I could get the entire thing done in a month, provided I don’t unexpectedly spawn a monster. A promise which I am not making.
Disadvantages: Few expectations exist for this work, so I don’t really have a plot. WHY IS PLOT SO IMPORTANT TO THINGS? UGH, YOU WOULD THINK IT WAS THE BACKBONE OF ALL STORIES OR SOMETHING.

Anyway, those are the major works that I’m looking at. There’s a few other works that might get on that list, but these are, as of today, the big contenders. For the rest of this month, the plan is to try and get some edits done, get my word count to a more respectable average than its been so that I’m not out of practice when November hits, and maybe, just maybe blog more than once a month.

Next month is out though, I have traveling for family to do.