Stuck in Neutral
Article Posted: 369 words
I wrote a novel last November (yup, I finished it!). It’s a huge mess — I haven’t touched it since November 31st. It’s 44,006 words long. NaNoWriMo was definitely a success. And then, big plans, right? “I can write another novel,” he said foolishly. Never mind that this was the first one in ten years of on-again, off-again writing. I can definitely reproduce that feat again two months later, with less preparation. Yep.
JaNoWriMo has been tricky. Before I beat my head against the wall, I (and my writing buddies) forced myself to think a little. Here’s a few things I’ve learned (and am still learning):
For one, I went in with a hastily-finished plot outline, and not the ten-thousand-words-of-a-draft-plus-a-pretty-stable-outline I had with All Right. For another thing, Fullblood as a whole is a much trickier story to get a handle on. It’s older, the plot has been through more contortions, and it’s needed to grow as I’ve grown.
The plot’s not a total loss — I do have an outline I’m reasonably happy with — but at the same time, it’s shaky in key areas. I don’t know how old one of the main characters is — as in, can he talk with the other characters, or is he a baby?
Forget the Wordcount
The important thing is, I’m going to keep writing. Look, at this point I’m hopelessly behind. I have about 3,800 words and I’m supposed to have 18,000 at this point. Yike.
But writing, even if it’s free-writing, helps me to figure out the knots (h/t to Elizabeth Allen for that wisdom). My goal over the next weeks is to use writing to refine the outline, to figure out what I do and don’t want to do with the story. Who knows, maybe some of it will be usable, but that’s not really the point.
I probably won’t get much of a manuscript out of this month. That’s OK. Two novels in three months is a bit of a crazy idea, anyhow. But if I keep writing, keep my head down, and push through, Fullblood will get out into the world at some point. . . I’m just not sure when.