“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Once again, it's about that time.  NaNoWriMo is starting in 6 days, 1 hour, 44 minutes, and 15 seconds.  Give or take a few seconds.

Anyway, I won't be doing NaNoWriMo this year – not officially anyway.  That is to say, I'm not starting a new writing project on November 1st.  What I will be doing is a sort of modified-to-fit-my-situation WriMo.

I've been working off and on for the past year on revising the novel I wrote for last year's NaNoWriMo.  It's been a serious challenge.  Last year I chose to wing it with no plan for my novel when I started on November 1st.  The result was 50,000 words of crap – but crap with potential.

At the end of November I had every problem in the book to deal with: poorly developed characters, a weak plot, plot holes galore, you name it.  Every time I sat down to write I would attempt to tackle one of these problems.  But there were some problems I just could not seem to work out. 

Then one day a couple months ago I was on my way home from a store about 45 minutes away from my house.  I was thinking about how I was going to fix some of these problems when one simple idea occurred to me which, if applied, would fix many of the problems I had been running up against while fundamentally changing the very nature of my main character and thus her relationships with most if not all of the other characters. 

It was perfect.  A revelation.  And it was going to require a buttload of work to make these changes.

So I went home and wrote out a synopsis using my basic plot from what I wrote last year while making additions and changes as necessary to accommodate my new plan for my character.  Now I'm going scene by scene through the story and truly re-writing it – not quite from scratch, but close to it.  Which leads me to my plan for this year.

My novel is broken down into scenes, rather than chapters.  I've found it's easier for me to work this way.  I can go back later and combine scenes into chapters, but for now I don't want to be bogged down by thinking about how many words are going into any given chapter.  So, I'm taking the number of scenes in my story (which I'm getting by taking the number of scenes in my current draft and adding the number I think I'll need to fill in the story completely) and dividing that number by 30 (days) thus giving me the number of scenes I need to write/rewrite each day.

At the end of November I will still have some work to do, but I will have a complete re-written draft of my novel ready to be revised.  This will be the furthest I've ever gotten on a novel.  In the past I've never finished a second draft.  Gotta say, I'm pretty excited about that.

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