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No NaNoWriMo Now

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

To those who may have been wondering, I have not been participating in NaNoWriMo this year. This may be obvious since I haven’t mentioned it at all in the entirety of the last month and it is now officially December.

The reason I haven’t been participating is simple. I’m busy with other stuff, namely editing things I started in last year’s NaNoWriMo.

Last year, I decided to give NaNoWriMo a whirl, since I had ideas for a detective series and it was about damn time I sat down and wrote it. So I did. I didn’t hit 50,000 words, but I had something down.

The problem was, I didn’t want to look at what I’d written, and really didn’t feel like editing it into something better, largely because I felt that, for the most part, it was pretty dull. What I had was a detective novel without much detecting and spent much of its time sitting around waiting for stuff to happen. In order to edit that mess, I needed to do something drastic.

That something was to completely start again. Considering how successful NaNoWriMo was, I made a conscious effort to turn March into an alternative NaNoWriMo for myself, intending to produce a better draft. I’d spent the previous months deciding how to fix the lacklustre plot, and it was time to put it into action.

My solution was to move the opening events of the first version to the middle of the book, shed much of the deadweight and squish all the important stuff closer together to make a much tighter, much more logical and more importantly much more interesting to read experience. And yes, the new draft was actually the second version, first draft. The two versions are so drastically different that to call them separate drafts of the same story feels kind of strange.

But I went further. With the intention of making a series, I made the decision to try and write the first two books in the series, making each roughly 40-50,000 words. I had no intention to write them at the same time, but I did intend to write them back-to-back, and that is what I did.

Neither first draft got written in a month, sadly. It was more like a month and a half for book 1 and two months for the second, possibly a little longer since I overshot my self-set deadline by a good few weeks (because, I must add, the story ended up longer than expected and not because I procrastinated!). But by mid-September, I finally had two first drafts for books to kick off what I hope could be an interesting series, and I felt proud of myself.

This means that ever since, I’ve been editing both of these books, including during NaNoWriMo. I have no intention of writing another novel while editing these, since I want to make them a focus. Might work on more short stories as I improve them though, just need to get myself moving on doing so.

The current state of each book? Well, the first book is now a 42,000 second draft that could probably be expanded a little further here and there, and the second book is still a work in progress on the second draft, but the current word count stands at 52,000 and could still creep higher.

I have no idea when I’ll release these books or how, but I do intend to bring them out together somehow in future. But I’m excited about them and looking forward to getting people reading this stuff and hopefully taking the series further.

Ambitious stuff, I know, but I like to think I’m an ambitious fellow.

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