I’m a NaNo loser

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Yes NaNoWriMo is over. That grand challenge that drives writers to double their work load during the busiest time of year. Amidst the hustle and bustle of black Friday frenzies, three thanksgiving meals over the course of four day weekend, and 48 hour work weeks, we are expected to churn out an entire novel of 50,000 words.

So how did I do you ask. I got down on paper, 35,124 words. I averaged 1,170 words per day. I never had a day where I broke 3,000 words though I often wrote less. And even though MS word counts ### as a word. Nano word counter does not.

So yes I am a loser. But a NaNo loser is a nano loser which is only a little bit of a loser.

Am I done? Does losing the challenge mean my novel is abandoned?

No but I am taking a break to regain some sanity, pay some sleep debt and work on some short stories that need polishing. I also have to work on finishing my Goodreads reading challenge for the year. 7 books to read before new years still.

The good news: I will pick it up again for JaNoWriMo. You may guess that means: January novel writing month. You are right. The Realm Makers Consortium group on facebook is hosting this more convenient challenge. The challenge is even more manageable because the goal is only to write 40,000 words instead of 50,000. My personal goal is to add to my current novel and hopefully to finish. I am aiming for a 90,000 word novel. There is the ending to write and a subplot that still want to go back and add. Hopefully the more convenient timing will allow me to finish it up.

So yes I lost NaNoWriMo, but as the Beatles sang, “I’m a loser, but I’m not what I appear to be.”

I appear to be some one with less than half a full length novel, but I’m 35,000 words into a novel. That’s only 45,000 words away from being a Paperback Writer.

NaNo Anouncment

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It is official. This year I am writing a novel for the month of November. I even registered, and have a Nano profile. If you Nano too, you can follow my progress at Nanowrimo.org.

I am writing under the user name dolphin18cb, naturally.

I have had this story brewing in my head for a few months now and I told my self I wouldn’t commit to it unless I have a solid ending, a decent villain, and a hero with realistic flaws. I think I have all of those so I took the leap and the rest is with God.

Right now it is untitled, but it will be a steampunk story.

The Hero: Jay Becket isn’t concerned with the underground resistance movement. He just wants to keep his younger brother Myles safe. He has absolutely no interest in claiming the throne that could have been his.

The Villain: His great uncle, Robert Nuklare is not so sure. Ever since he led the coup that deposed his niece, Robert Nuklare has not stopped looking for the missing boy that could bring it all crashing down around him.

I won’t tell you how it will end, because honestly it could change while I write the rest of it.

But here’s some back cover copy to get you interested.

The blurb:

Jay Becket longs to be an airship pilot. He would love nothing more than to soar above the mountain ranges that surround the kingdom of Victorica and leave it all behind. The only problem is, a royal can not leave the kingdom.
As the illegitimate son of the deposed Queen, Jay certainly doesn’t qualify as a prince. With his adopted brother, Myles, to watch out for Jay also has little interest in the resistance movement trying to reinstate the queen to her throne.

Rumors start circulating that the queen is close to winning and that she is looking for her lost son. Followed closely by rumors that his Great Uncle Robert Nuklare is close to wiping out the royal line for good. But the rumor that Jay is most interested in is the one about a cure for the genetic curse that keeps him trapped within the kingdom’s boarders.

Secrets have become the glue that hold the fragile government of Victorica together. When the truth gets out, it all starts unraveling.

So would you read it? Let me know in the comments and send some encouragement my way.

NaNoWriMo Fail

My last post was about how I was going to rewrite my novel during National Novel writing month this past November. Well it’s now the third day of December and I only got 23,369 words written. The goal as you recall was a 50,000 word novel. I failed at just shy of half way.

It gets worse. I also said I was going to cheat. Of the 23,000 odd words, probably only four to five thousand are new writing, the rest are cannibalized from my first draft. I was cheating and I still couldn’t finish it.

My excuse: I work retail and this time of year I work a lot of hours, and when I get home I am worn out physically and emotionally drained from having holiday shoppers blaming me for them not making it to the store in time to get the last eighty dollar tablet or ninety dollar TV.

The truth: I think I may have fallen out of love with the story. I sit down to work on it and I get kind of overwhelmed with the idea of re-structuring a novel that took me so long to work on the first time around. And then I start thinking about what to change and my brain gets flooded with all of these what if’s and then I go through the plot and think well if I change event A then event B can’t happen as is. Which leads to the question of whether I really need event B in the story or if should cut A&B and just skip to event C.

I want to keep working on it, I really would hate for Julian Random to never be published. But maybe I need a break. I need to focus on some short story ideas I had and publish something. It’s been way too long since I’ve had a publishing credit. And I need to get paid this time. Especially since I just solved my biggest problem and quit my job.

NaNoWriMo

For the uninitiated, the really confusing title you just read stands for National Novel Writing Month. I have been contemplating whether I wanted to try this challenge to write a fifty thousand word novel in one month. I have never tried it before. But this might be the year.

Fifty thousand is a lot of words. I would need to write at least 1667 words a day. Almost a thousand words more than my current goal of whatever will fit on two double spaced pages a day. And with the holiday season officially started I will have to do it with forty hour work weeks on top of that. But I think I found a way to do it.

I am going to cheat.

You see I already think of myself as having written a novel. But in retrospect it might just be 300 pages of character development. The truth is I love reading, probably more than I love writing, and even I think my book is boring. So I want to use this challenge to rewrite my book. I want to tighten it up, add more action and define the plot better. And I want to do it in less than the year and a half it took me the first time around. The hardest part is behind me right?

Isn’t that why we have this huge fanfiction market? Because it’s easier to write with an established character than to make up your own. It is, it really is. I confess to being tempted by the siren call of Fan fiction. But I resisted because I realized that even if I had the best plot line ever I could never really know a character I didn’t create. As much as they tell you not to write yourself I think every author puts a piece of themselves into their characters.

So now I have all these characters that have a piece of me. I can write my own fan fiction with my characters and it should be awesome. That wasn’t the most narcissistic sentence ever right?

The best part is that if I get behind on the word count I can just cut and past from what I already have written. 300 pages it can’t all be bad writing, can it?

Anyway that’s the plan. Maybe I can count this post towards my first word count goal. If I can’t today’s word count is zero. Oh well I guess I have to decide what to keep from my current manuscript be cause at this rate I have a lot of cheating to do.

Feel free to leave a comment. Do you think this is a good strategy or is it as bad as cheating on a mid term?