I do try to be mindful on IWSG day about my word count, but this post ended up going long with my tale of surviving NaNoWriMo 2017. If needed, just hit the bold spots and run to the next blog before I suck you in with my navel/novel gazing thought process.
So, on November 23rd with only 21,000 words to my NaNo novel, I realized I was going to have to tackle things differently than I had planned. I decided to write the novel and write about writing the novel to reach my 50,000 word goal.
It technically might not be considered winning NaNoWriMo in the most traditional sense, or maybe even any sense. But I consider myself a winner and even bought the t-shirt because I made a decision to honor my real writing style, the thing that works for me. Plus, I did write over 50,000 words in November all in or about The Greenling Chronicles.
I am a plantster (writing by the seat of my pants and outlining) and I "planst" while I'm writing a novel. I write notes to myself about the progress. I change the outline and expand it while I'm mid-stream. If I don't do this, I lose focus, momentum, and the story.
If I plot everything out first, then I get bored and I don't finish. Or, I just ignore the plot and create a giant mess.
If I completely write by the seat of my pants for anything longer than a 5,000 word short story, I forget character names, make world-building mistakes, and struggle with a complete chaos. Two of my previous NaNo novels have strong chaos elements. Sometimes, chaos writing can be fun. Sometimes, it just gives me a sense of helpless failure. I really felt the need for an epic background outline for this NaNo and I wrote it before and during the month of November, alongside the novel. I'm actually still working on it.
Part of the necessity of a massive background outline arises from the fact that I am writing Book 2 of a series and Book 1 (written in the spring) had some serious chaos elements and unanswered questions. I'm determined to finish the entire series before I call any of the books finished. I want the plot to be paced correctly throughout the series and I want the foreshadowing elements to work. Plus, I want to utilize some over-arcing metaphors and imagery.
I really want to have something ready for the IWSG Pitch day in January, but I'm pretty sure I won't. Unless, pigs fly. So, for now, I am mid-project(s) and I think I'll be there for a long while even though I've been here for a while (since early 2016). If I self-pub anything in the next year, it will be writing prompt related or a short story collection or ... something small. Querying is going to be out of the picture until mid to late 2018 or even 2019. It's hard to admit that to myself, or to share it with anyone else, but that's just where I'm at. I'm drafting. Word after a word after a word. (And then, some notes about those words.)
And, in case anyone still wonders about my Captain Wrath novel, it has some of those chaos elements, and it turns out that Ben Cranston (Aka: Warren Wrath) lives in the same universe as The Greenling Chronicles, just a few hundred years later. So, I haven't given up on him yet. He's just waiting his turn (orbiting in his space cruiser) with all of his buddies: dwarves, dryadarians, shape-shifters, leprechanarians, and glowers (will-o-wisps with attitude). For more information (teasers) about the universe of The Greenling Chronicles and The Captain Wrath novel(s), stay tuned for IWSG January.
I may post one or two posts this month or I may just see you all in 2018! (Feeling Indecisive Today)
And, lastly, but actually of most importance, I want to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh, the co-hosts: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!
and all those who make the Insecure Writer's Support Group awesome - at the website, on facebook, at twitter, at the newsletter, and on Goodreads.