Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dreamy valley, lover's alley, stop and see the apple tree

So, conclusions on finishing current novel. This is my fourth completed novel, and it was an experience totally unlike any of the others. For one thing, I wrote it without knowing where it was going. I knew it opened and ended with a murder. I knew the setting. I knew the characters, and I had a vague sense of direction. So vague that I thought it might not even make a long enough story to do for NaNoWriMo. But other than that opening murder... everything else I thought I knew about the story was dead wrong. I didn't know anything.

This book was nothing but one new discovery after another.

And it was a roller coaster of a ride. The bad guy turned into a good guy. The good guy turned into a bad guy. The romantic lead (yeah, there was a third guy) got side-lined by the other two. I uncovered a conspiracy. Things blew up. People I liked got killed. People I liked even more got hurt. Badly. Betrayal, vengeance, lust, love, redemption... they all showed up where I least expected them.

I would say this was a fine lesson in how NOT to write a novel... except, somehow, it ended up working. Oh, sure, there's a ton of editing to do -- there always is on any first draft -- but, as a whole, the book works well. I'm actually very happy with it. That's what surprised me. That I could stay blind and let my subconscious, the characters, and muses lead me along and have the whole thing work. I tried about fifteen times to wiggle out of starting this particular story for NaNoWriMo. I had nothing but doubts and misgivings, but I wasn't allowed to set it aside. Muse #2 got mad and said to stop stalling, just trust him and write the fucking thing already. His words, not mine. So I did. And he was right. As always, damn him. Grumble, grumble.

So flying without an approved flight plan is not always a bad thing. Would I do another book this way? Depends upon who's swearing at me, I guess. LOL!

Thanks to a handy spreadsheet I kept while writing this novel, I know I wrote 113,168 words total on 70 days between Nov 1, 2005 and Feb 14, 2006, for an average of 1600 words per writing day. Interesting. The most I wrote on a single day was 5052 words, the least was -351, meaning I deleted more than I wrote that day. Urgh. 21 chapters, a prologue and an epilogue.

Music used as background:
King Kong (James Newton Howard)
The Interpreter (James Newton Howard)
Snow Falling on Cedars (James Newton Howard)
The Blue Max (Jerry Goldsmith)
Inchon (Jerry Goldsmith)
Morituri (Jerry Goldsmith)
"I Will Wait for You" (Bobby Darin)

And Rachel had made a plug regarding getting yourself a writing buddy. I second that. I don't think I ever would have finished this so quickly without her to push and encourage me. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I ever would have finished this so quickly without her to push and encourage me. Thanks!

    You're so welcome! And may I say it one more time: congratulations!!!

    Not like this is a one-sided buddy system...you're doing plenty of pushing and encouraging me to get my current projects done too ;-) And now that you've got your novel done, I'm working even harder on mine...I want to have it done by, hmm, May? Maybe...

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