It’s finally April, a month I’ve been looking forward to (and also dreading a little) all year.
When I planned out my 2020 writing schedule, I used the National Novel Writing Months as a framework for my first drafts. April, July, and November are all for drafting, while the other months are for brainstorming, plotting, revisions, and releases. I’ve gone back and forth on what project I’d work on in April, but finally decided that I’m officially resurrecting Vacancy.
The serial isn’t coming back, but I am turning the whole thing into a small series of books! (A trilogy actually.) I never wanted to abandon the story, but the serial was time consuming, not profitable, and ultimately wasn’t the quality I wanted because it got churned out without the proper planning or revisions. So I decided to give it the focus and time it needs to be complete and good (by my standards) and release it in the format I know best.
I’ve wanted to produce a series for a long time, but opted for one-offs instead to develop the right skills first. (You know, like actually completing something and getting it out into the world.) The Korinniad came out in February, and I have two more one-offs planned for release this year (She’s All Thaumaturgy for May/June and The Association for September/October, this page will have them when they’re finally released), but then I’ll be entering the Vacancy release sequence, and I’m actually pretty excited!
I’m hoping to draft book two this month and then book three in July. Book one, which will be a retooling of everything that’s currently released online, will be revised somewhere throughout the year and come out first, of course, hopefully in December, followed closely by two and three in 2021 if all goes right.
I say this not just to hold myself accountable, but to point out how long it takes to get something from the idea to the release. One of the, let’s say, “problems” with the NaNo concept is that I fear a lot of people go into it thinking, “Oh, you can write a book in 30 days? That’s easy!” and then they try and either it’s too hard and they give up or (worse) they try, succeed in reaching to word goal, and think they’re done. I like the idea of drafting quickly without stopping to edit or think too hard, but that’s just a word vomit. That draft will need time to simmer and then be revised multiple times before it’s ready for other eyes, and then still need to be revised based on feedback. That’s how you go from a story you wrote to a book you published. Or at least, that’s how I think it ought to go.
So the ideas for the second book of Vacancy (the whole series title is still being mulled about in my brain), have been there for years now, but the real plotting happened in March, it will be written in April, and will actually be released, at the earliest, in January of 2021, but more likely February. That’s almost an entire year. But also, to be fair, I’ll be dropping two other books in the meantime, so my focus is a bit stretched. And my goal is to get from first draft to release much faster than that in the future, but that comes with practice and skill development, and I’m not there yet.
So if you’re diving into CampNaNo for the first time, I just want to caution you that if what you ultimately want to do is release a book out into the wild, it’s going to take much more than just 30 days of writing, but please don’t get discouraged, and do take it one day at a time.
And if you’ve ever been a fan of Lorelei and her coworkers at Moonlit Shores Manor, I hope you’ll be willing to follow along with her come December when I gift their story retold to you, Dear Reader. Happy reading and happy writing!