Me, nanowrimo

Nontraditional NaNo and Me

It’s National Novel Writing Month, and this will be the first time in a long time that I won’t be participating in a normal way. I’m sort of sad about that, especially since I’m actually in the exact kind of mood that writing a first draft of something requires (the desire to just kinda go crazy after being so structured for so long editing and plotting), but I have bigger fish to fry. Three big fish.

My nontraditional NaNo goal this November is to get book one of The Vacancy Trilogy, The Weary Traveler, beta ready. I’ve been replotting the story in general to fit a trilogy structure and modifying the existing draft for a few months. Everything that’s up on the web as a serial right now will be (if it isn’t already) changed–some of it drastically, some of it with just minor edits. The story and world will be recognizable, but the subplots and the underlying arc are in for a bit of an overhaul.

The universe of Vacancy is the same as The Association, so I have some new “rules” to the world I have to make sure carry over. The funny thing is when I was originally drafting The Association, I had Vacancy on an indefinite hiatus, so I hardcore borrowed from myself for little things like names being a point of confusion and werewolf victims with scars, to way bigger things like the fact that Hunter and Conrad are pretty much the exact same dude (I have a type, I guess). I don’t see most of it as a problem, but the bigger issues are presenting a fun challenge for me, and I think these changes will ultimately improve Vacancy.

Another funny thing is when I originally conceived of Vacancy like…five? years ago, the Conrad character was a handyman whose prevailing trait was that he was pretty fucking stupid, but very sweet. He evolved into a good-natured, doctor-esque warlock who was only a little stupid (or just came off that way to someone not from his world). Then I just replicated that character for Hunter, so in reinventing him he’s going back to being a handyman, and I’m dropping the stupid and most of the good-natured too. Also I guess he has to be blond now. Changing Conrad means totally new interactions with everyone, especially Lorelei and Britney, which also means lots of rewriting which is sort of my favorite kind of writing. So yeay!

More good news on this front is that I learned how to edit a lot quicker. Basically I run a timer, just like a sprint during a draft. Instead of recording a word count every 15 minutes, I track how far I’ve gotten in a chapter. If I’m taking too long because I’ve gotten stuck on something, I move on. It’s great for staying on task because knowing there’s a ticking clock keeps me from being distracted, and allows me to set realistic goals. After a little trial, I can figure out how far I can get in X amount of hours and plan out my days and when each revision should be done. Funny what amazing things a little timer can do.

Also, just a little thing, but a giant tree did fall on the house we’re trying to sell, so I’ve been stressed out of my mind about that. I mean, there’s nothing I can do, but I sure can be anxious as fuck about it, so I guess I will. Will post pictures in a future blog. That should be fun.

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