Remember, remember your novel this November!
Seeing as though we are two short days away from NaNoWriMo, I figured I should do my civic duty to Novelandia and encourage everyone to participate in the greatest literary event of the year.
NaNoWriMo is a fantastic program because it brings book lovers from all walks of life together. I know a good deal of professional authors who routinely participate, as well as introverted little bookworms who would never, ever want anyone to read their writing. Everyone does it though, because everyone benefits. I think that modern life does not afford us nearly enough opportunities to vent our creativity and work at what we love free of judgement. NaNoWriMo is designed to be a massive storm of first-drafty awkwardness…so much so that those of us who go on to get book deals afterwards are more outsiders than those who just quietly continue to plug away at their creative endeavours.
The Neverland Wars was a NaNoWriMo novel in 2013. I hit my 50K within the month, but took until mid-March to finish the full 75K story. I shelved it for a while, until someone wanted to read it in November of 2014. At that point, I was excited and started doing revisions and sending out queries. The San Francisco Writer’s Conference this February got me moving even faster, and after another five months of revisions, I finally had a product that was accepted by a publisher. Now, I’m going to start drafting the sequel in two days.
My publisher has made it clear that they can’t offer me a contract until they see it, but they have assured me that it is in my best interest to begin writing a sequel so they can get that in the works as quickly as possible.
I’m still playing around with titles in my head and trying to decide some of the finer points, but I have a functional outline and am excited to embark on the next instalment of this trilogy. I feel like it’s going to be very strange, writing a book knowing that it is actively heading for publication…but then, that’s how I wrote Dr. Derosa’s Resurrection, so how hard can it be to do it again? Plus, this time I’ll have NaNoWriMo motivating me.
I’d be concerned about getting “book fright” and not being able to perform under the pressure of knowing I have to write a publishable book, but I know that my irrational desire to WIN NaNoWriMo for the eighth year running will outweight my desire to write a quality book. And you know what? That’s perfect. What I need more than a good book is a decent draft. Editing, revisions, and all the rest won’t turn it into something fantastic until I have it down on paper. Besides, for better or worse my writing always comes out about the same. Whether I write a thousand words an hour or a thousand words a day reflects whether I have writer’s block, not whether I’m putting effort into the manuscript. As one of my favorite writers said, writing is a largely subconscious process. You have to trust your brain when it thinks of the word it wants to put down next, and just let it GO 🙂