Monday, November 10, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014!

The concept is simple enough. Sign up and make a commitment to write at least 50,000 words during the month of November, at an average of about 1,667 words a day. Some people have no trouble doing that on a regular basis and so National Novel Writing Month is every month for them. As much I'd love to say that applies to me, I can't!

The Queenschair was written during my first year participating in NaNoWriMo, back in 2011; I passed the 57,000 word mark if memory serves. I felt great. I felt accomplished. And then I took the next 7 months to write the remaining 100,000 words or so.

In 2012 and 2013 I found myself coming back to the NaNo website, signing back up, and not getting anywhere close to 50,000 words. But it wasn't wasted time; it was always fun to have an artificial goal/deadline in place, and extra fun to imagine there were thousands of other people enjoying (more like suffering) the struggle of churning out a consistent word count. That's the most important concept I learned from NaNo: the art of writing and not scrutinizing it the very next day. You had no time to do that; you had to keep writing and getting those words down and advancing the story. Editing would come later and be its own painfully laborious process. (Doesn't writing sound like such fun? It is, though!)

Although NaNo is strictly self-policing and your only real reward is the feeling of self-accomplishment, I did follow the rules, and one of them was that you had to start a novel from scratch (and not be tacking on 50,000 words to a work-in-progress). However, I saw that this year they seemed to have softened the language on that and it was acceptable to bring in an existing novel. I didn't see that until November 3, when two full writing days of NaNo had already come and gone, and I immediately signed up for the 2014 event.

And...the novel I'm working on is not Queenschair-related! It was time to take a break.

(Not to despair! Volume I is of course available on Volume II is complete and currently in edits, and may be released even earlier than scheduled in December 2014. Volume III is complete except for a couple of new scenes and is looking good for April 2015. Volume IV is actually about 70% written but needs a lot of work, so I'm glad I have a year to get it out there.)

The project I brought into NaNoWriMo 2014 is Native Son, an alternate-history science fiction novel I started in October 2013. It would have made a great NaNo project if the event had been a month earlier. I wrote about 50,000 words of it in a flash, then lost momentum and finally set it aside to return to working on Queenschair. And now I'm back on it...and hoping to finish it by the end of 2014! Reaching 50,000 words in NaNo is highly unlikely but that's okay; if I can get about 30,000 by the end of November, then I'll be heading right into the home stretch.

More on Native Son in a later post!

[NaNoWriMo 2014 Progress: 6,562 words as of November 9]

Tokyo Sky Tree, photo taken from Ueno Park, May 2012
Why's there a photo of Tokyo Sky Tree at the bottom of this post? Maybe I just like it. Or maybe it has some nebulous relation to Native Son? Await the answer with baited breath, if you've just had some sushi :)

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