It’s November, and for my fellow writers participating in National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as most call it), I wish you all the best of luck. For those of you who might not know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s a movement wherein aspiring authors dedicate the month of November to the goal of writing an entire novel in a single month. The goal is writing 50k words in thirty days. I know a few authors who spend most of October getting ready for NaNo, plotting, planning, writing notes, and when November 1 rolls around, they hit the computer with a fury.
Simple math tells you that 50k words divided by 30 days means NaNo-ers must commit to an average of 1667 words every day. Sounds simple enough, right? Except it isn’t. On days when there are no distractions or interruptions, sure. Knocking out a few thousand words is no big deal. But for those people who live in a world with children or a job, or even just the day-to-day minutia of regular living, it can be a challenge to do for thirty days straight.
And while I’ve never participated in NaNo, I know several people who have. I know many who succeed in their goal every year… and I know many who have never quite made their goal. Hell, I know a few who finish their 50k in less than a week! In some of the writing groups I follow, writing 10k in a day is called a “Lowell”. The term is named after Nathan Lowell, who regularly manages to do this in November. Nathan is a very successful indie author, one of my favorites, as a matter of fact. But even he admits that 10k a day knocks him on his tail when he does it. Of course, there are some who claim to have done even more than that. I know a couple of writers who claim to have written 20k, 25k, even 40k at a single sitting. The only one I know personally, who backs his claim under the light of public scrutiny though, is Nathan.
But whether the goal is 50k in a month, or a week, my hat is off to all you NaNo-ers, (or it would be if I was wearing a hat). Go get ’em!
Personal News –
A couple of weeks ago, I had the surreal experience that most indie authors live for. I had given a copy of Pangaea: Exiles to a neighbor. He had given me permission to use his name in the story, but hadn’t had a chance to read the novel. So I gave him one of my author copies and he took it on a hiking weekend. When he got back, he tried to return the novel, thinking I had only loaned it to him, and during the course of convincing him that I had given it to him to keep, he said those golden words… one of his friends had seen the novel, and recognized my name. He had already read Half Past Midnight, and on my friend’s recommendation, immediately went and downloaded PE1. Someone recognized my name on a book! I mean, someone I don’t know. LOL. Happy dance!
In other news, the contract job is done. I finished the project Thursday before last (or at least, as much of it as I could do from a remote location). Four months of a regular day-to-day (and the steady paycheck that goes with it) helped put life back in perspective. I was lucky enough to be able to spend lunches with MBH (that was by far the highlight of the job), and work with a great group of people, and that was really great. But while I really did enjoy the experience, as well as getting the opportunity to dip my toes back into the IT waters again, it really is good to get back to the writing. I hope I’m not being overly ambitious here, but with the day job behind me for a while, I’m actually hoping to finish the first draft of AP2 by the end of the month. This also means that my Website Wednesday posts will actually go back to Wednesdays. Which brings me to…
Writing News –
Yes, I know there are going to be interruptions in the schedule, especially that turkey of a holiday in a few weeks. But I already have the climactic scenes of AP2 in mind, and I’ve already built the framework to getting Amber Payne and her team to those climactic scenes. So I really do hope I can stay on track well enough to get it done pretty quickly.
Of course, even if I do, at this point, the chances of actually getting it through beta readers, editing, and formatting, before year’s end are pretty slim. I’m more likely looking at an early 2019 release date. I have contacted Streetlight Graphics, the company I use for my covers, to get on their schedule. We spoke for a bit, discussing cover ideas, and I’m confident that they’re going to have a fantastic cover well before the book is ready to release. Remember “Cover art lesson #2” from my old “Cover art – from a writer’s perspective” post.
Learn to manage the timing of publication. There are some tasks that are prerequisite to others. For instance, the book must be written before it can be edited, and it must be edited before it can be formatted for publication. However, the cover art can be done as soon as you know your novel’s theme, tone, setting, and characters. Once you have a feel for what you want on the cover, I recommend that you begin working towards getting your cover done. This will eliminate the frustration of having your novel written, edited, and files ready for publication while you have to wait on your cover.
At this point, I’m beginning to plan my next projects. 2018 has been a bad year for my writing. The Year 12 audiobook completely fell through, Crazy Larry stalled at about 90% completion, and AP2, (the Streets of Payne sequel) fought me SO much more than I anticipated, and is turning out to be the longest book I’ve written. When I look back on the year, I really did a poor job of it. In fact, the only thing I managed to complete and turn in on time was a short story for an anthology. And that anthology is currently five months behind on publication. In short, I haven’t gotten anything published in 2018. Nothing.
But that also means I’m poised for multiple titles to be released in 2019. My goal at this point is to publish three novels, and at least two novellas next year. I have to contact a few people to hammer out details on what these next projects will be, but I have several options. If one doesn’t pan out, another will. My goal remains the same… three novels and two novellas. As badly as I did in 2018, I plan to make 2019 my most productive year to date. I’m thinking of it as an early New Year’s Resolution.
With that said, time to get to it. Stay safe, and I’ll talk to you later.