So November just ended and so did Nanowrimo. If that word makes no sense to you, that’s cool. It stands for National Novel Writing Month: the month when people attempt to write a novel in November alone.
The goal is usually 50,000 words.
This was my first attempt to participate in Nanowrimo and I did run into a few hiccups.
The novel I wanted to work on is the third novel in my Beasts of Battle trilogy (the first book of which I self-published at the start of November). I figured, since it would be the end of the series, I could fly through the first draft because I knew where the book started and where it had to end. Since that was true, I figured I could write the story from the beginning to the end, in chronological order. Of course, that’s a bit of a different then how I wrote the first book of the trilogy. Wolves Rising was written in bits and pieces and not always from start to end. It was a gardened novel rather than a planned one (Gardener writers = plant the seeds and watch it grow, Plan/Architect Writers = make a plan and build it).
The start of the month was pretty good. Since my novel needs to be over the 50,000 words I decided to aim for about 2,000 words a day meaning I would end the month with 60,000 words. The first few days of writing I did manage to keep that word count. I was writing from the beginning. I got about to chapter 7 with the plan on connecting the beginning to the one scene I had written out in the summer which was somewhere at the midpoint of the story.
I got the flu. I got writer’s block. I said “Screw writing chronologically” having found a section at the end that I had written back before I wrote the second novel. I had imagined it would be the very end of the series but that was stupid and naïve and its now part of the climax, the end of one character’s story, but not the end.
Then I wrote the proper end. Was that chronological. Hahahahahahaha, no. But it was getting words on the page.
Then I got the official announcement that I would do my defense for my Masters’ thesis. Anxiety smashed through the wall and I curled into a ball and rode it out. Writing didn’t happen, but I at least survived.
I had to travel back to my university for the defense and on the trip several scenes percolated in my head. When I arrived at my residence/hotel room I sat down and wrote out one scene/chapter entirely. It changed some of the ending and set up some different plot points. I even started writing another scene. Then anxiety and defense.
It was stressful. While they were discussing their decision, I was sitting out in the hall. Evidently, I looked so awful that a student sat down with me and talked me out of a panic attack. She was very nice about the whole thing.
If you’re wondering: I passed. I went out for dinner and a drink with some of the university’s profs. We chatted about my defense but mostly about where I’m living now (which, apparently, is the area one of the profs grew up in so…small world?). I didn’t think about writing then. Or the next day when I got my grad photos taken. Or on the plane-ride home. It was the last quarter of the month and I hadn’t written for like half of it.
In my defense, I also had/have work. And the thesis was a big project that needed my attention. I was doing Nanowrimo for me, not for some arbitrary goal that someone else had set. I pushed forward, typing up what had gotten written on the trip and finishing off several chapters that were only partially written.
It’s not all beginning, and its not all end. There’s two parts floating in the middle right now. But I’m a lot further with the book then I would have been if I hadn’t pushed myself. And I’ll work at finishing up the first draft in the next few months. I would have said in December but I think Book and Page Season 2 (my Youtube show where I read and discuss books) needs some more love at the moment (or at least an increased buffer) and there’s PhD applications too. You’d think, after all the stress I went through I wouldn’t be so eager to jump back onto the horse but here I am.
Crow’s Song is going to get done. Just like Eagles Take Flight (Book Two) will get edited. And both of them will get self-published like Wolves Rising did. It’s just going to take me a little more than a month.
And if you’re curious where I’m publishing things, its on Kindle: https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Angela+Alberry