Each November, National Novel Writing Month, is an opportunity to write creatively with the “little editor in the back of the head” turned off. I’ve been slow getting into NaNodrive this year, but today I hit a stride I like. Including last year’s effort, my novel just passd the 65,000-word mark. I’ve got at least 35,000~50,000 more words to go, but whether I write them all this month or next doesn’t matter. Just knowing that I will finish the first draft of the manuscript this year has uplifted my spirit.
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TajLV has written 11 entries about this goal
I restarted my work on the manuscript and managed to add 597 words this morning, which is right around my goal per day. It was a bit hard getting back into the characters’ mindsets, but I was clever enough in December to have stopped writing in the middle of an acton scene, so I knew what needed to be written next. Tomorrow will be more of a challenge. Let’s see if I can get some momentum going again.
Time to take up the pen again, figuratively speaking, since I write with a keyboard. If I am ever going to finish this novel, it’s going to require writing every day, like I did during NaNoWriMo last year. I know I do my best writing in the morning. I find it impossible to write after the sun goes down. I typically sleep only six hours a night, going to bed at between 11:30pm and 1am and getting up at 5:30am on days that I teach and 7am other days. If I can start going to bed by 10pm and getting up at 4am, I should have an hour or more to write first thing every day. Let’s see how this goes in May.
Progress on this has slowed, almost to a halt. I was thinking there was something wrong, but now I’m beginning to believe it’s just part of the natural process. My novel is supposed to be humorous. I’m just about to emerge from a rather humorless period and the flow will return. Just today, I came up with the scene that will bridge the gap I’ve been stuck at. Now I simply need to write it.
Today was my best day yet in terms of output – I wrote 3,763 words. I was beginning to think I was spending too much time and too many words on some of the early scenes, but now I see that it was necessary in order to introduce and develop the many characters that populate this manuscript. The writing is going faster, smoother, because when the characters interact, they do so easily and deliberately. I am quite enjoying this middle section of the book. I know where it’s headed and how it will finish, but I still expect to encounter many surprises en route to THE END.
I just passed the 10,000-word mark, which is right on track for completing NaNoWriMo’s challenge of 50,000 words in November. What has just given me a fright is that although I’m 20% toward the NaNo goal, I’m only 5% into my outline. This could end up being a very long manuscript, but I really only have this month free to work on it. I may need to increase my output dramatically.
Devoting an entire month to novel writing is risky enough, but I’ve just upped the ante. I had been having trouble deciding whether to use a first-person POV, as told by my central character as I originally intended, or to use third-person, which would give me more options in telling the story, since I would not be limited to what a single character sees, feels, thinks, hears and says.
Well, last night I came upon the answer. It will take this book out of the mainstream and push it into uncharted waters. I am going to tell the story in first-person from the POV of an inanimate object. It will take the story to a very different level, blending some very challenging metaphysical aspects into the narrative. Ooo… this is fun. Can’t wait to start writing it!
I’ve joined the National Novel Writing Month insanity, so I’m scrapping my false start and reinitiating the actual writing of this novel on November 1st at midnight.
In the meantime, I’ve been doing more research, especially in areas I’m less familiar. Next Tuesday I am having lunch with a personal injury attorney to pump him for answers to all the questions I have about one of my characters who is in a car accident and loses her leg. I’m also in touch with a friend who is an amputee to get her perspective on things that might be relevant to the character. And I am eagerly clipping news articles and anticipating the Breeders Cup the last weekend in October, as part of my novel’s plot centers on horseracing. Doing background work in preparation is fun, but I am anxious to get out of the starting blocks and really start writing.
Progress on this book has been slow, too slow. It took me 18 months to outline my first novel, about a year to write and revise it, and another two years to get it published (1984). Today, used softcover copies sell on Amazon.com for anywhere from $2 to $5. I’m quite okay with that. The original retail price was $10. Royalties ended nearly 20 years ago.
But the $18 clothbound version, which was printed in much smaller quantity and has been out of print since 1991, is currently being offered by at least one bookseller for $134.52.
Wow. I own the rights. Maybe I should consider reprinting it. Then my next book would be my first book, The Last Book.
That’s the count as of this morning. The first draft is about 8% done. The initial manuscript should be at least 50,000 words, then I’ll revise and expand it to about 80,000 in the second phase. I’d like to go faster, but I’ll be happy if I can complete the first draft within the year.
I read recently that you write a novel the same way you would eat an elephant, in small chunks. Bad analogy, perhaps, but there’s some truth in it. Slow and steady wins le race.
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