Time for a belated #NaNoWriMo wrap-up. I got further on a novel in November than I ever have before. I didn’t finish – either the arbitrary 50,000 word goal, or the actual draft which will probably be more like 70,000 words. But after a year of writing barely anything, I can’t be upset about cranking out 35,000 words in three weeks.
My biggest sticking point is figuring out whether I’m writing a murder mystery or a romantic comedy. I was aiming for something in the vein of Castle, a mash-up of both. I didn’t quite hit that, but hey, it’s a crappy first draft. I’m embracing the philosophy that editing is all about crafting the reader experience. Drafting is just getting the bones of the story down.
There are some niggling plot bunnies I need to corral to get the draft done, too, mainly relating to the scope of the story. I keep having to remind myself everything doesn’t have to be epic. Sometimes making things intensely personal accomplishes the same emotional payoff as putting the whole world in jeopardy. That’s the kind of story I want to tell in Honky Tonk Wyvern, but it’s tempting to jack up the stakes by making somebody The Chosen One or deciding the villain is The Ultimate Evil.
I did complete some passages that surprised me, and added some interesting layers to the characters I hadn’t expected. So if nothing else, the breathless rush of NaNoWriMo provided some fresh inspiration.
What I’ve enjoyed most is writing a story with adult characters, with adult problems and concerns. Writing YA is a lot of fun, but it’s nice to be telling a story about damaged, resilient, hopeful grown-ups.
I hope it’ll be fun to read, as well.