Monday, November 18, 2013

Dragging Talia Along as Part of My NaNoWriMo Update


Goodness the month is moving by WAY too quickly. We are past the half way mark and thank goodness I'm at least halfway in my word count. Currently I'm at--22,730. A bit behind where I should be, but I'm just happy to be moving forward.

I have to admit that I haven't written with complete abandon this month. Whether that is good or bad is still yet to be seen, but words are getting written. There have been several epiphanies this month.


  • I think way too much about my readers while I'm writing. Although this is good on one level, I really need to block you guys out while I'm drafting. All month I've been sick with worry. This story is by necessity slower paced than The Magic Wakes and I'm scared that the readers who found TMW a slow start will not enjoy SFK. This one is more about the journey, the learning, the trial and error of problem solving. A touch more on the science side, but still a good dose of fantasy elements. Less romantic tension since SPOILER ALERT Talia and Landry married at the end of TMW, but they married quickly and now have the problem of learning how to live together while all this other crap is going on around them. The conflicts are more internal than OMGosh someone is trying to kill us! Although there are a few moments of that too. :)

  • Search for Knowledge is not really about Talia. She's there, but Landry is filling the spotlight a bit more this go around. This is fine, and originally (when I was still writing in first person) this book was going to be from his point of view. The surprise is how much more this book is about the two worlds--Sendek and Orek. Their parallels, their differences, their ultimate destinies on the line.

  • This means more attention to world building and details. Which means in turn I can't count on my dialogue filling the word count. It takes more time to really think things through--why would they do that instead of just...? I'm trying really hard to make sure I'm not just taking the easy route or having my characters do something because that's what I need them to do. The trick is making sure my reasoning filters through to the reader somehow. I had solid reasons for everything in The Magic Wakes, but it didn't come through and leaving many readers questioning. And not in a good way.

  • Adding enough well developed characters to make the story work without overwhelming the reader with too many characters is hard! Complex stories need lots of players. I've already combined two of my new characters into one.

  • Dreaming up scenes before I sit to write is still my best method. Once I can see it all played out in my mind I can at least get the "scripting" details on the page. Then I can go back and fill in the good stuff.
How is your WIP coming along? 

Even if you're not doing Nano, I hope you're getting all the writing in that you want. Come back Wednesday for an excerpt. No promises on quality since it's first drafty wafting, but hey, it's all in fun, right!

12 comments:

  1. I believe they call that over-thinking it.
    I play out scenes in my mind as well. Usually I play out the entire story, although I haven't done so with the one I'm currently working on.
    Just keep writing. And if you really like the story, then so will your fans.

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    1. You are so wise Alex! Over-thinking is my worst enemy and I'm trying to turn it off. At least for the draft.

      I'm super excited to hear that you're working on something new too.

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  2. It sounds like nano is really working out well for you. Good luck with the rest of the month.

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  3. I spend a lot of time plotting the scene in my mind before I begin writing. It must exist for a reason. It either moves the plot forward or provides significant, relevant information to the characters in the story. Once I can see the scene (and what I need to accomplish) I can write it. I always encounter discoveries along the way... unexpected dialogue (and sometimes actions that become clear when I am in the groove), but I must know where to "point the car" so to speak.

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    1. I love the "point the car" analogy. I'll admit to writing some scenes for Nano that are just for fun. During edits I either cut them all together or see if I can make them work better at moving the story forward, but sometimes it's just nice to get to know my characters better.

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  4. I guess you need to pretend that you're writing the novel for you rather than thinking about readers at this stage.

    I'm the same way--I have to "see" the scene before I can sit down and write it. I can't write it out of thin air.

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    1. :) I don't need to pretend, I need to actually write it for me. Then I can tweak it for readers afterward. Wonder if that's crazy?

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  5. Yep. Stop thinking about the readers. Just focus on word count. :)

    Good luck with the rest of NaNo!

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  6. Mine is going really slow this month but this was a project that fell through last year and no matter what at least I started and actually succeeded on getting some writing done. 11,000 words is way more than 2012's 0 in Bunowrimo. I'm glad you're writing Charity and no matter your doubts or fears you are moving along. Keep going.

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    1. Slow is fine as long as you're moving forward, right? I didn't do anything last year either, so I'm already better off. Good luck with your writing Sheena-kay!

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