The Adept/NaNoWriMo Update

I have to admit, it’s taken me quite a long time writing The Adept (still a working title) to see how it’s going to end. Naturally, I had the basics in mind from the beginning: whether or not it was a happy ending, whether or not they all get out, etc., but I didn’t know how I was going to make it all happen. That’s one of the downsides of being a pantser. (*Fun fact, my computer keeps trying to correct ‘pantser’ to ‘panther’. I’m okay with this.)

I’d also argue that this is a benefit of being a pantser, really. It’s exciting, surprising, and a huge emotional journey for me to write so fluidly. Letting my characters take the lead adds a sense of surprise and authenticity to the story that makes it a fun experience for me, and hopefully for my readers as well.

Obviously I don’t want to give too much away, plot-wise. I’ll just say that I’m very, very excited for the next part I’m going to write. I didn’t plan on this particular plot point at all. Honestly, this character was only going to exist in memory based on my original plan, but now it just works so perfectly that I can’t wait to put it down.

Back to it, then!

38337 words, for the record, and still working on it! (I’m a little behind, but I blame the turkey.)

Confession Time:

I’m a serial pantser.

(For anyone unfamiliar with the term, it’s writing by the seat of your pants. Hence, pants-er.)

I try to start with an outline, even just a mental one, but my characters are truly the ones in the driver’s seat. I’m realizing that more than ever now, in the latter half of NaNoWriMo (33,663 words, by the way, BUT WHO’S COUNTING).

If I’m honest, I really prefer pantsing my novels. It’s exciting. My characters continue to surprise me and sometimes it’s even a little scary, but I love the thrill of it. The Adept is getting a bit longer than I’d planned, but in a very good way. It’s taking twists and turns and coming together in ways I hadn’t planned.

Any other pantsers out there that can relate? Or strategic planners that think I’m absolutely nuts?

(I tend to agree, but I fully believe that a healthy dose of insanity is essential for any work of fiction.)

The Great NaNo, Part II

I have to make a confession, I didn’t hit my word count one day earlier this week. Gratefully, I had gotten myself ahead to begin with but I was really worried about falling behind.

I decided to try a new strategy today: Just write. Don’t count words, don’t count pages, just write. And when I finally decided to stop…

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 7.05.20 PM

2,395 words in one session! Hell. Yes. It may only be the beginning of week two, but I’m really proud of this.

The point of NaNoWriMo is primarily just to keep writing, and it’s definitely kept me doing that. I’m such a competitive person, however, that having a challenging goal like this and knowing that there are so many people out there trying to hit that 50 thousand mark just makes me want to dig my heels in and CRANK. It’s hard to keep that drive at a healthy level, though. My wife is working her butt off at her own job, and mine can get stressful, what little time we do get together we do take advantage of. Lately, I feel like I’ve been so focused on this that I haven’t been as mentally present with her when we do have time together.

We’ll be sitting on the couch, I’ll have the laptop out while Lost Girl plays on the TV. Something will spur on a random memory from the day and she’ll tell me about her new employees and I find myself doing the classic “That’s great, babe. Uh huh. Yep.”

Sometimes I really just want to smack myself.

Yesterday, I finally had the good sense put the laptop down and help my wife with some scissoring (and by that I mean cutting a bunch of things out that had complicated shapes, but if your head is in the gutter, well, it’s not my job to take it out). We finished the task and I went back to my writing, and guess what? I made my word count. Everything was good.

Since the start of NaNo, I’m glad to say that I’ve taken my head out from beneath the couch cushions and everything is good. The lesson here is balance. And occasional scissoring together. (The couple that scissors together stays together? I’m going to stop now.)

Holy NaNoWriMo, Batman.

So, it’s that time again. I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo several times before, my personal best came out to 32,732 words which of course means I’ve never won.

Five days in now, and I’ve exceeded my daily goal every day so far (keep in mind that ‘exceeding’ usually means only by 20-50 words, but it sounds exciting to say EXCEEDING). I’m not entirely sure I’m going to win this year, but I’ve decided to treat this as more than a challenge: it’s a necessity. In my mind, I’ve filed away my daily word counts with my daily medications and feeding the cats. It’s gotta happen, whether I’m in the mood or not.

This year’s project is a continuation of a current project I have going on, the working title is “The Adept”. It’s a sci fi YA novel, planned to be a trilogy. I haven’t decided on the series name yet, but it revolves around a creeptastic company called R.I.S.E., so I’m sure there’s some series name potential there. Eh, I’ll figure out that part later. First, I need to write the damn thing. Hence, NaNoWriMo.

Wish me luck!