National Novel Writing Month Diary 2012

1 Dec

The following are two posts I had written for a summary of my work this November on National Novel Writing Month.

The premise, as its been for the last few years, is to promote fledging and wannabe writers by giving them a challenge: write an original book made up of 50,000 words within the month of November  Thirty days, 50,000 words at the minimum to do.  you sign up at their website (nanowrimo.org), and they provide you with advice, word count average you should make per day, and a graph of what your word count is for each day you log it online.  You then can have your novel checked a few days before the end of the month to see if you got up to 50k in words.  The reward for participating is not some cash prize, but its an exercise to build up your ability to write if that’s what you’re interested in doing.  Plus, you now have a working draft of a full length novel (if you’re lucky) as a result, so in away, you’ve already won.

Due to my schedule writing for NaNoWriMo and other blogs (plus the added trouble of display problems on my laptop hindering my writing for a few days), I was only able to finish the two write-ups (the 3rd day and the completion of my novel on the 25th) below:

(Half) Week 1: How I drifted into Plan B

I’m back for a second year of NaNoWriMo, and despite starting almost immediately early Thursday morning, am going into this without much of a plan.  At least its better than my first attempt last year, in which I started several days late, fell behind schedule, and ultimately ended up with 12 pages of work to show for it.  I promised myself I would prep for this November and have a story ready to work on.  So what happened on October 31st?

No story.  No plan.

Well, the “no story” part isn’t entirely accurate.  I had two stories I had been debating going with this year.  One was a hard sci-fi military epic, but that one was too vague and too early in development to get off the ground.  The other was a Cronenberg-ian body horror piece about addiction and preventing death, but that one was starting to become a bit unclear as to the end (plus I realized there’s a scene in there that’s very sexually explicit to the point of being comical, which is not the right mood to play, baring the circumstances).  But then something interesting happened as the hours ticked down to November 1st

I started with literally nothing, and ended up with something.

I wrote a scene of someone recovering in a near-future hospital, the details of which I’m sure will be considered stuff I’m pulling out of my ass or something a far more experienced writer has done before.  From that, I’ve been writing what now seems to be a pulpy Earth grounded sci-fi spy book with some pretty out there overtones.  I got a lead in Graem, a requisite badass whose simple retrieval operation turns out to be one where he has to save the world.  And the world is different a few decades into the future.

How much so?  I actually am tempted to say, but I’ll leave the details out for the time being.  I will say that if technology is turning the tide in modern warfare today, it is warfare tomorrow.

What is important is that I managed to jot down 2,000 plus words in one day, and am chomping at the bit to explore this world further.   For a project like this, that’s good news.

Day 25: Not Quite At The End of the Tunnel (But Close Enough)

50,003 words.  It was just confirmed.  Just got through 50,000 words.

The first draft is done, albeit a bit wordy more because I skimped on the details while writing.  Filling in 700 words more to cross the 50,000 goal isn’t too hard to do once you have over a hundred pages of work to add to.  But the point is, the story has been told that I wanted to get out.  Now I have a first draft of something instead of an image of what it was to pique my imagination.

And yet, the job isn’t done.

It’s a first draft, and like many first drafts, right now its hard to say how much it will resemble the next draft.  I can see where it can be tightened up and where it can be expanded, but how it will play is a big unknown right now.  Right now, I just hit the finish line, and am looking to just deflate from all this hard work.  I just ran the marathon, and want to rest.

But, I also realize I want to explore the universe I just developed further.

I can see the broad strokes of the next two follow-up books, and even the vaguest notion of a fourth book.  I want my protagonist of Graem back for the next two stories, as I do the great love he found.  I want the relationships he started in this first story to grow out into some wonderful and in a few cases, some tragic places.  I want to make the next story more unpredictable and thrilling.

There’s a lot of open ends by the end of the first draft I’ve done that could lead to some nice, thrilling stories.  And for the first time in a long while of writing, I almost can’t wait to jump into the pool I started filling up.

But, it’ll be a little while before I jump into that pool, not until I give my draft a run through or two of some hard editing.

I know one thing for certain: I won’t be waiting a year to go back to that world I just finished opening up.  But, I will be doing something for next year’s NaNoWriMo.  Count on it.

My progress report as of the 26th. I like the WINNER! part of it. Kind of warms the heart.

And for the record, no, I don’t have a title yet.

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One Response to “National Novel Writing Month Diary 2012”

  1. elizabeth ann December 2, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    Really proud of you, Stewart! Can’t wait to read your end-project! I get to read a draft at some point, right? Right? Please? I’m really awesome, I swear. 🙂

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