A year ago I was working on my outline for National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. And the following month I completed the challenge, writing 50k words. Progress slowed after that, but I finished the first draft of my book around May of this year. It currently clocks in at 98,354 words, longer than I’d expected.
And many of those words have got to go. No one has read my draft yet because it needs a thorough edit. At this stage the big to-dos are to fill in placeholders (“it’s in [PLACE]”, says one character to another) and slice out crud that makes the book drag.
I haven’t been prioritizing that editing. Which then bums me out because if you write a book and no one reads it does it make a sound? And while I seek to finish the thing, it’s not a chore. I enjoy returning to that fictional world.
The maples have mostly shed their leaves, while the oaks remain mostly clad. It’s NaNoWriMo time once more. I’m thinking I will participate on my own terms. This year’s challenge will be:
- Work on the book at least a little every day
- Get the draft to a point where it’s ready to share with an alpha reader on Dec. 1. Fill in all the placeholders and clean up as much of the rest as I can.
I have been developing an outline for another story. This one is a science-based thriller, Jurassic Park vibes but part of a tech billionaire’s sinister plot. All while celebrating one of evolution’s most incredible feats. I think it would be significantly easier to write, because (a) I’ve done it once before (b) it’s a little more basic, with more cliffhangers and less character development.
But that’ll have to wait until I make more progress with Book 1. Maybe I’ll take a crack at the thriller for NaNoWriMo 2023, if all works out.