Wednesday, December 6, 2017

#TheIWSG December 2017



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.
Go, IWSG!!!




22 comments:

Cherie Reich said...

I really understand your desire to have the series written before calling any of the books finished. That's what I aim to do with my next series. And I definitely consider you a NaNo winner. Here's to a productive 2018!

Erika Beebe said...

Congratulations on all you accomplished with NaNo! I would have bought the shirt too! Sigh...like you I doubt. I will querying in 2018. My goal is to get my new first draft of a YA sci-fi done my March 1. I wish you the best of luck and I hope your health shines this next year too :)

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

Congrats on NaNo! You're definitely a winner in my book. Besides, rules are meant to be ignored if they're not useful. I can see how it makes sense to work on all the books in a series before writing END on any of them. That way, everything will fit together and make sense. Cheers - Ellen

Tyrean Martinson said...

Cherie - Thanks!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one in drafting mode. :)

Erika - Thanks for the encouragement! Best wishes on that YA sci-fi.

Ellen - Thank you! I like your thoughts on rules. I hope it will all make sense. Cheers to you, too!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I totally consider that a NaNo win! You know there are NaNo Rebels, right? That's what I considered my project this year. :)

Wishing you all the best for 2018!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you're working on something that epic, then it will take a lot of planning. I'd definitely call that a NaNo win.
Captain Wrath is still in the works? Good!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Madeline - NaNo Rebels, unite! :) Happy 2018!

Alex - Thanks! And thanks for the encouragement for the Captain. He's such a strange character for me, that sometimes I wonder if I should follow through with him.

krystal jane said...

Congratulations on 50k!! I'm all for being a NaNo Rebel and plan on being one the next time I dive in. ^_^

I'm also 100% with you on wanting the entire series done. I'm working on partial outlines for a duology I'm working on, and I refuse to even edit book one until book two is done. It's going to happen, but I'll feel better when I see it for myself. LOL!

Happy December!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Krystal - it does seem like it makes more sense to get it all done, or most done, before I get picky about revisions. Thanks for all of your encouragement!

Diane Burton said...

Aha, a NaNo Rogue. LOL Good for you. Keep writing, enjoy the writing. I don't try NaNo. I feel like it won't work for me, not with the way I write. But many people accomplish so much in November each year. Good on you! I hope you enjoy the holidays.

Olga Godim said...

I never participate in NaNo, but I think everyone who does is a hero. You're among heroes, Tyrean.

Christine Rains said...

You are a winner! I like that term "plantser." I usually know where my story starts and where it ends, and then I pants it, but I do take notes as I go along. One thing I have accepted this year is that my mind isn't as sharp as it had once been and taking notes isn't insulting to my intelligence, it's wise. :) Have a great holiday season!

Gwen Gardner said...

50K is 50K, however you got there. Well done! I agree with finishing the series before releasing the first novel. You don't want to be rushed into publishing the subsequent books.

Happy Holidays, Tyrean!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I will consider myself in drafting phase too until I finish book 1 and book 2 of my series and know what book 3 will be. So you're not alone. I don't feel comfortable considering querying until I know I could write a series that would work. Even I end up wasting lots of time on manuscripts that don't sell. So you're not alone. Happy Holidays!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats! Maybe pigs will fly in January. Either way, sounds like you needed to focus on the planning.

Lynda R Young said...

That's a definite NaNo win. Best wishes for making those pigs fly ;)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I write like you do. I plot but then it's pretty much pantser as I go. And the outline I do usually have major changes.

Heather R. Holden said...

Love the term "plantster"!

And I can relate to being stuck mid-project for an indefinite amount of time. It's such a disheartening feeling, for sure. But it's clear you continue to work hard at it, which is the most important thing. Wishing you the best of luck with all your drafting!

Patricia Lynne said...

I'm a panster too, and once I did plot a story out and lost the drive to write it because I knew what was going to happen.

Patsy said...

If I don't plan I'm in danger of forgetting my own name as well as that of my lead character.

Nick Wilford said...

It sounds like a win, but more importantly, it sounds like real progress that has helped you get your head around what's happening with this series. I definitely need to take more notes, as they can be invaluable for not writing screeds of actual book that then need to be ripped up or drastically fixed. Best of luck for your continued progress in 2018!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - it does sound sensible to be somewhat prepared ... rather than find some ghastly 'error' in the draft later on - good luck for next year - cheers Hilary