30 DAYS HATH NOVEMBER
30 Days of Writing. Nanowrimo (however you want to pronounce it). What did I get out of it? What did I LEARN? Well, I tried a few new tactics this year---more advanced outlining and character development, pre-writing the first draft, and writing without editing (mostly, mostly). It was SO HARD not to re-read and rewrite. For the first time ever, I made notes in the MS when I left off or when an idea came to me so I could go back to that particular page/scene/moment and rewrite/revise or add in a new element. I wrote WITH A WORD COUNT TICKER showing me the advance of every new word.
I started off with 7k+ words which is probably a bit of cheating but do I care? Absolutely not. I hosted two freaking Thanksgivings this year, worked full-time, side-hustled, and parented. I socialized with friends and family. I designed fucking Christmas cards. I baked two apple pies. I NEEDED THOSE BANKED WORDS to fill in for the lean times because as a busy human existing in 2022, it is impossible for me to churn out nearly 2k words every single day.
HOW'D YOU DO?
I MET MY GOOOAAALLL! I am officially 50k words into Nowhere Man: a Ghost Story. 13 chapters in. Book is a little over half done, which is right about where it needs to be. I'm trying SO HARD to keep this one in the 85-90k sweet spot. SO HARD. I am such an over-writer and then a terrible trimming-the-fatter that I cannot do this to myself again.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
I think the biggest change was in my perception of what was important in this particular stretch of writing. Hitting word count, sure, but actually knuckling down and moving the story forward. Getting to the ending. Not spending copious amounts of time revising or fussing over certain events/characters. In fact, AN ENTIRELY NEW CHARACTER WITH THEIR OWN SET OF PROBLEMS popped up over Thanksgiving weekend and I was like "Oh, better integrate them." So now I'll be spending some time fleshing out that character either in the revision stage or in the time between revisions, or after my December writing break.
*drumroll please* While it's not likely going to be the cover this book is published with, this was my favorite version to make it out of the drafting stage, and the one I'll likely use for future updates on the book until something changes.
Here it is!
I also made a page for Nowhere Man: a Ghost Story, because why not?
As mentioned above, I'll be taking the next three weeks OFF to focus on a side-hustle editing project that is absolutely demanding my attention. I've been doing SO MUCH editing lately, that it was incredibly difficult to switch between those two brains and boy howdy do I need a break from doing both.
HOWEVER---once my editing project is done, I'll pick up the torch and have the rest of December (PLUS a week-long break between holidays at the beach) to devote to finishing up the book. My goal is end of January for the first draft. After that, I'll set it aside and pick back up on the Rosita revisions from my beta readers. Once I finalize Rosita, then I'll go back for another pass at Nowhere Man.
Trying to keep a good balance between projects so I can have "fresher eyes" when approaching both but really that means I have like TWO FULL BOOKS wobbling around in my brain and I routinely mix up character names when talking to people about them. Ruh roh.
It's Day 30 and I'm 50k words into the Nowhere Man: a Ghost Story WIP. I plan on finishing up the first draft in Winter 2023, so I can pivot back to Rosita Ruins the Heist once I get all the lovely edits back from my beta readers.
Melinda Jasmine Crouchley, YA supernatural science fiction author and professional editor.