I made it to December!

Hello friends!

I’m happy to announce that I DID IT! For the first time, I completed November with over 50,000 words of brand new fiction!

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I was a little worried at the beginning of last week – being out of town for that conference really threw me off my game – but I found that getting back to writing daily and getting back to my story was easier than I thought.

I actually hit 50k on Friday, but what with holiday travel and working retail, I didn’t manage to get back to this blog to celebrate here.

Now it’s time to move on, and keep writing. I feel like my pacing has stayed pretty consistent throughout the writing process, and my best judge is that I’m somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the way through my storyline, which is a huge accomplishment. This novel feels different in so many ways. First off, this is the first novel that I planned – start to finish – with an eye on fierce story arc.

When I wrote before, I was very “organic” about it – I didn’t want the story to be compromised, I wanted it to come from some primal, deeply personal space within myself. But I feel differently about it – now I know that even when I plan it out, there is something that happens within, some deep part of myself that makes the decisions for me sometimes. This story has been circling around in my head for years – there has definitely been an organic process to it. But in order to keep myself writing, I needed to plan it out. And now I’ve even been able to write foreshadowing the first time around, instead of going back and adding it in.

I’m sure there will be a lot of  adding in of the foreshadowing, and I’m sure that a lot will change between when I type “The End” and I put down that red pen after the first round of edits. I fully intend to cut whole scenes, write new characters in for new scenes, and edit my tone down.

Most of all, I think I’m worried that the novel isn’t “scary enough” to be on the horror end of sci/fi, which is what I had initially intended. That’s the major tone that I’ll need to edit for – and the reason I will need to have friends/family/peers read it.

I’m particularly excited about one of the special offers from the NaNo sponsor LuLu and the Book Genome Project that will create an analysis of your manuscript. I’m genuinely curious – and granted, I don’t know how much my tone will change in the second draft, but it will be really interesting to see what kind of audience I’ve been writing for so far.

This post is feeling very … I don’t know. Disjointed? Yes. I feel like I might have used up a lot of my coherence – or maybe I’m just saving that coherence for the story, and not for this blog. But that’s a good thing about the internet, right? I can always save and come back to it!

 

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National Novel Writing Month, or, How Abbie Got Her Groove Back

It’s been a LONG time since I was able to dedicate myself to writing fiction. This has been that month.

Many writers have conflicting opinions on National Novel Writing Month – and I get it. if you are so focused on quantity of words, you can lose sight of the quality – especially if you don’t have a solid plan for what those words will be forming at the end of the month. A lot of writers are also very introverted, and they are turned off by the community that NaNoWriMo encourages.

But there is one thing that trumps this for me: NaNoWriMo encourages you to get in the habit of writing. Every. Day.

For me, this has been an invaluable month dedicated to writing and storytelling that put me back on the right track. It has shown me that yes, even when life is hectic and crazy, I can still carve out time to work on my writing. The habit of writing – finding time to work every single day, thinking about my novel when I have downtime, and other planning exercises has been invaluable. I didn’t come in to this month hell-bent on “winning” and writing that 50,000th word. What I did come into this month looking for was that habit – and I won’t stop writing every day when December 1st rolls around. I might sleep in and lower my word count for the day, but I’ll still work.

And not only am I really excited to keep working on my novel, but because of the time I took to plan it, I feel like the writing itself is going very well. It will definitely be really rough in places, but that’s much better than not having written it at all.

I would guess I’m about somewhere between a fourth and a third done with the story in full, so it’ll be quite the long haul. But that’s a part of the fun, isn’t it?

Now, I really should get back to writing …