If you haven’t already, go have a look at NaNoWriMo II: The Revenge – Day 1 so I don’t have to do much of a recap.
Screw it, here’s the recap! Back in 2009 I did my first participation in National Novel Writing Month over at nanowrimo.org. Every November they get people from all over the world to attempt writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It’s madness, and a topic I’ll cover in a later post.
What I started there eventually became a close to 150,000 word book, referenced here as CiW. That book took two years and about a year or more of actual writing time, but NaNoWriMo is one of the things that actually got me started on it. And that’s a big hurdle, actually doing instead of just intending. But again, that’s a topic for a later post.
So what about last year’s NaNoWriMo? I was intending to do a post a day like I did the first time, just to chronicle it as I went. However, like I mentioned before, it’s not easy for me to switch gears from writing a story to writing a blog post.
Is that my only excuse? Kinda, yeah. I am making an effort to get better at it, though. And by November, when it comes time to NaNoWriMo again, I’m going to try for another 30 days of writing and posting.
What’s that you’re not asking, did I win at NaNoWriMo?
Everybody who participates wins, silly.
Did I complete the challenge, though?
Nope. I didn’t even break the 20,000 word mark, and that’s counting all the notes and random thoughts I wrote about it. (And no, that’s not cheating. It’s practically encouraged, which I’ll cover later.)
But I am very happy with what I got out of it. Having finished writing CiW a few months prior, I’d since gone over it again and edited it and gone over it again, and I was ready for my next book. Sure, I was still doing stuff with CiW like finding an artist and investigating publishing options, but I’ve got to be okay with doing all of that while writing more books.
Unlike what most friends and family think, once the book is written it just means there’s more to do while you write another one.
And once CiW is ready to publish I’ll have even more to do, because I’ll be promoting it.
NaNoWriMo spurred on the first book, so why not the second? But while CiW has a sequel (and more) planned, doing books in a series is tricky and requires a lot of juggling to not only keep continuity but also to properly foreshadow. NaNoWriMo is all about splurging on words, writing quickly and carelessly.
While I can’t exactly do the careless thing, I decided I needed something easier to do to accommodate the speed I’d be attempting. And there was a character that originally had a larger role in CiW, but had ended up with a cameo in an allegory read from the Necronomicon. (Yes, really.) This particular character was an often drunk, often lecherous barbarian adventurer.
And that kind of character lends himself easily to short stories.
So that’s what I started last November. Instead of 150,000 words like CiW, I’m aiming for a much more easily publishable length of around 60,000 to 70,000 words. So far I’m over halfway through, and instead of short stories it’s looking like a Novella collection.
So that’s what happened with NaNoWriMo II: The Revenge, and what book I’m working on now.
When people ask what I’m doing, I tell them, “I’m writing a book of short stories featuring a drunk adventurer fighting monsters, saving women, encountering gods, and fighting women. At some point he’s going to punch a rhino.”
And I am telling the truth.