Last year, I did it. I won NaNoWriMo. I wrote a 40K word novel in 30 days.
I’m not saying it was a good novel. I gave it to four beta readers and none of them could get through it. Well, I assume they couldn’t. The only feedback I got was “I haven’t finished it yet” and then I don’t like to push when folks are doing me a favor, so I let it drop. The fact that it wasn’t devoured eagerly and commented on either favorably or un- is telling.
It also doesn’t exactly make me want to write that way again.
The one good thing is that it made me get forty-thousand words on paper. It took a lot of hours to do, with an end result that’s worthless to me. I can’t edit it because to me, the story is told. It’s just (apparently) not a very good story. I can live with that.
But I have three full-length novels in progress that have all stalled for one reason or another, and I’ve had very little time to write lately. I’m thinking maybe during NaNo this year of setting aside a block of time every day to write. Perhaps log so many hours on the stories I already have instead of counting the words, and give myself a victory if I can get any one of them into a readable draft form. Hell, finishing all three and having manuscripts to submit to publishers would be an amazing accomplishment, even if I don’t earn a shiny new badge for my sidebar.
It’s for sure that writing is a discipline. I have to do it all the time, every day, or I get out of practice. Even blogging is hard (in case you couldn’t tell) because the words don’t want to come out of my head. My writing seems halting and forced and stilted to me, and the words flow only in messy, lumpy, stringy, scattered bursts.
It will be good to get my head back in the game.
I’m very close to finishing the ghost love story. I need to slow the pacing at the beginning and flesh out a spot in the middle that also seemed a bit rushed, and put the denouement on paper instead of having it up in my head. It should be easy to do, if I can get my mojo back.
The second novel is gay erotica, a story of an idyllic summer full of man love on a farm. It’s hot. And when I realized what I was writing, I loved the story. I know why the main character is telling his story, and I know what happens, and it’s amazing. Again, it’s all up here. *points at head* I need to get it on the page.
The third one is still mostly idea. It’s based on a true story I found on my Twitter feed, a tale of long-distance lust in the cyber-age. I know what it will look like when it’s done, and I have a framework story around which the main story will be built. I know the characters, too, and they want me to tell their story. It needs the most work, but progress would be good, too.
I have four days to set a game plan. I will keep you posted.