So, I may have lost my mind. I blame the baby. After all of my bitching and complaining that I don’t have enough time to do things, I went and signed up for CampNaNoWriMo. I’m going from writing zero words per day to getting down at least 1,667 words a day. Crazy, see?
I’m currently on day 4 and so far, so good. But it’s always good at this point, right? Everything is new and shiny and filled with possibility. I suspect sometime next week I’ll hit a brick wall and realize everything I wrote before makes no sense and will need to be redone. I’m hoping that’s not the case, but since I’m pretty much pantsing this thing, it’s highly probable.
Thankfully, I’ve had this novel idea bouncing around in my head since last year. The tentative title is A Discordant Mirror and I at least have some key scenes laid out in my head. Now, it’s just a matter of stringing them together. Because it’s totally that easy, right?
The title of this post would imply that I’m able to balance both short story writing and novel writing at the same time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case. New short story ideas are so bright and shiny, I must write them RIGHT NOW! Of course, that puts my novel on hold and prevents me from achieving my long-term goals. Cue the sound of my depression creeping back…
So, now that I’ve wrapped up a short story for an anthology, no more bright and new short stories for me. Nope. I’m done. If I get an idea, I’m jotting it down or making a brief outline but THAT’S IT until my novel draft is done.
You know I started this novel for NaNoWriMo last year? Yeah. Pretty sad. And I just now reached 64k. Granted, I had to backtrack and dump about 30k a few months ago to add a new POV character, but still. I can’t help but think, “I should be done with this by now,” every time I open up Scrivener to write.
Alas, it won’t get done unless I, to quote a certain captain, “Make it so.” That’s why I’m putting a moratorium on new short stories and even revisions of drafts I’ve already written. Apparently, I can’t be trusted with working on multiple creative projects.
I’d like to have the novel draft done by November 27. If I write 1,000 words a day from now until then, I should reach 100k. I might not need all of those words, but I’d like to allot for them anyway. Once the draft is completed, I’ll worry about revising the handful of short stories I have sitting on my hard drive as drafts at the moment, maybe pen a new short or two, then dive into structural and plot revisions. I hope I can clear plot problems up in one go and then tackle the details, but there’s no way of knowing until I start.
In other words, I’m getting serious, yo!
I want to write a weird book.
There, I said it. I have plenty of irons in the fire already, but I have this irresistible urge to write a completely unconventional novel filled with all that is strange and wonderful. I’ve been letting go of my inner censor on my short fiction, but very much stick to convention when it comes to novel-length works. I can’t understand why I keep doing this, but it’s ingrained in my brain for some reason.
And that got me thinking. There’s finally a bit of chill in the air as fall descends upon us and that can only mean one thing: NaNoWriMo! I participated three years ago, and I plan on participating again this year. And this time, I’m going weird.
And this time, I’m going to try to use all of the wonderful things I’ve learned this past year about short stories and how to pour myself into them. This time, I want to write a novel I care about. Thus far, I’ve yet to accomplish that feat.
No clues on characters or plot just yet, but I’ll keep it in the back of my mind as I rework a few old short stories throughout October. I’m also thinking about starting a Tumblr account to log my NaNoWriMo efforts specifically. What do you all think? And perhaps I’ll just post recaps or summaries of the journey here? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
On a final note, as I construct my steampunk-o-riffic costume for Halloween, I promised I’d keep you up to date on my purchases and findings. The pic at the top is of my earrings. Got them on Etsy from a very talented seller. Pretty cool, eh?