Coming out of NaNoWriMo and launching straight into writing a play for a company in the UK has meant that I haven’t had quite as much time to put my thoughts in order as I’d have liked to regarding NaNoWriMo and the process I engaged in around it.
Here was the process:
- Meetings with my co-writer to plan out the basic beats of each of our stories
- Outlined them separately
- Wrote drafts separately with occasional touching of bases to make sure some kind of vague continuity was being established
- Wrote possibly the worst climax and finale of any story I’ve ever written ever but soldiered through it because First Draft and also reasons.
- Eventual edit-fest
Of course, I don’t normally write a 50K novel draft in a month, and this meant a lot of other things fell by the wayside or didn’t get the attention I’d liked to have given them. I was fairly isolated over the course of the month, and towards the end of November and beginning of December that isolation started taking a real toll. Some of the decisions that had to be made as I worked towards the end of the draft were hard, with repercussions that echo down the road, and it was hard to make those kinds of calls when both me and my cowriter were so busy trying to juggle our word commitments and our life commitments every day. And I slipped on a lot of the stuff I try to keep balanced: my mental health in particular has been rough for the last few weeks, and that’s been something I’ve become more and more aware of. Happily, I now have a strategy in place to try and improve things over the next couple of weeks.
All that said, overall, I think NaNoWriMo was a positive experience for me. The novel I have now, the one that didn’t exist thirty days ago, aside from it’s holy-god-that-needs-a-rewrite conclusion, is one that I’m more or less happy with. There were challenges in character development and I was really hard on myself to make this a plot-driven, rather than primarily character-driven story – typically I get very wrapped up in characters and less wrapped up in making sure things happen, because characters are fun and interesting and offer plenty of ground to explore, while things happening is kind of, you know, how one makes a plot.
So, Hook, Line & Sinker – which may actually wind up being its real title, because as I got closer to the end and figured out the answer to the question, “What did they all fall for?” – because that’s the other half of that saying, ykno? – and wrapped it all up with a bow.
And then it was time to move into writing what I’m currently referring to as Ingenius, because that’s the name of the theater company I’m writing it for, and because I don’t have a clue what the title ought to be. Ideally, this is going to be a one-hour play about women in space and it will also be funny. I’m really, really excited because it seems to be rolling along pretty well, the lessons of NaNoWriMo carrying me through the process of writing again. I made an informal promise to the director to have a draft ready by the end of the month, and a friend of mine who is basically literally a rocket scientist and has worked on lots of space missions agreed that she’d read what I have in January.
January. Oh man, I can’t wait till January. When all my drafts are finished and I have three weeks before the edit-fest on Hook, Line & Sinker begins.
At that point, one of the things I want to do is sit down and work out what the hell is going on with my AI Anthology. You may remember reading about this on this blog for a while. I have most of the stories started and in various stages of complete-draft-ness, and need to buckle down, because while I’m sure it won’t be ready for robot week this year, I do want it to be ready for next year’s Christmas.
Oh, that’s another thing. Other than the post I put on John Scalzi’s blog, I’ve lost the will to market this Holiday season. I work in advertising and marketing by day, and this is our busy season because retail, and so I just. Don’t. Have it. In me.
And that’s okay. Next year, I’ll set aside some time to get my marketing up to snuff, but I feel like having the AI Anthology out and also getting Hook, Line & Sinker and its companion book to print is going to be a big part of having something worth marketing hard next year.
But for now, I’m going to forgive myself for not having the will to write press releases, blog advertisements, guest blogs and more, and get on with the business of finishing my play and enjoying the holidays. If you want to invite me to do any of those things, or talk about my work on your podcast, or otherwise help you get the word out about my stuff, that’s ace, just let me know – but this choo-choo train won’t be self-powered on that front again till the new year. And that’s okay.