It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s been another interesting week, but in a good way for a change.  I’m still limping along without my laptop (no that’s not any of the good news).  In fact, that will probably be status quo for the next several weeks (unfortunately).  I’m starting to wonder if the whole laptop thing is really worth it.  At least when I had a desktop, I could fix it myself.  I didn’t need to get someone else to send it away for repairs.

Enough complaining, though.  As I was saying, a few good things happened.  Number one with a bullet is I finished the Nanowrimo challenge.  Once again, I was able to get done in 20 days.  My final total was 50,076.  I did make one minor mistake this year though.  I started writing knowing that some of my book would be throw-away.

What do I mean by that?  Well, I was writing a young readers book.  That genre typically maxes out at around 38,000 words.  If you do the math, that means I would be writing approximately 12,000 words more than I actually needed.

I was comfortable with that.  After all, when you are editing a book for the first time, you typically shave anywhere from 20 – 40% of the story right off the top.  Wasn’t I just building in the extra right off the bat?  While it sounds awfully clever, in fact it only encourages sloppy writing.  I’ll admit it, there were a couple days where I wasn’t trying as hard to write as tightly as I might have otherwise.

This is a major departure from other times I’ve been writing.  Last year, for example, I was working on the first book in my series (for young readers).  It was a story that I had wanted to write for at least two decades.  There were times I couldn’t type fast enough to keep up with the ideas.  When the book was finished and I started looking at it with an editor’s eye, I realized it was much better than I had expected.

This year, I know that the story is sound, but will need a LOT of editing to make it ready for publishing.  The good side to that is I already have some ideas about how the editing has to happen.  I’ve also set up a solid plan for myself.  It goes something like this:  I’ve got three complete books written now that only need some editing (in two cases) and a re-write in the other.  I will be taking last year’s Nano book and I will spend the next two months whipping it into shape.  At that point, it will begin making the rounds for publishing.

While it is making the rounds, I will focus on rewriting my first book (an Adult fantasy).  I will spend approximately six months getting it rewritten and edited at which time I will begin sending it out for publishing.  Then and only then will I start any new projects.  I may just let this year’s Nano book continue to rest, but I definitely want at least one new project underway next year.

That’s my rough plan.

Let’s see… what else has happened?

Well, I went to the Nano half-way party and got to visit with some of the acquaintances from last year.  It was a fun evening.  As I’ve said before, part of the appeal of Nano (for me, anyway) is the social aspect.  Up until the past week, I hadn’t really been participating in any of the chats.  Finally, on Friday night I got back into the chat aspect of things.

It’s odd, but the chat is pretty subdued compared to last year.  I’m not sure why except maybe I was on it so much that I was having a bit of fun egging on the rest of the Calgary region writers.  I know I participated in my fair share of word wars.  However, I have decided to hang up my keyboard for word wars… I’ll happily moderate them, but I went undefeated last year and I know that I’m typing considerably faster this year.  It wouldn’t be fair.

On that note, I also want to mention that I have now had two 2,300 (one was slightly above 2300 words and the other was above 2600) word hours for Nanowrimo.  That works out to be about 38 and 43 words per minute.  If you ever hear me complaining that I don’t have enough time to write, please give me a smack.  At those sorts of rates, I can easily knock off 500 words per day any time.  I have no excuses not to find 15 minutes every day.

That is part of why it has been a good week too.  I may just consider working on something new just to keep the creative juices flowing while I do my editing.  It might be just the catalyst that I need.  And as I just said, I can definitely find 15 minutes to write, even if it’s just before I go to bed.

There was also a non-Nano happening that was good.  At least in my mind it was a good thing.

For those of you who remember, I entered The Writing Show’s “First Chapter Contest” a while back.  On the 15th, I finally got my much anticipated feedback for my entry.  Let me begin by saying that I did not win, or come in second or even earn an honorable mention.  In case you are now wondering why I consider this to be a good thing, allow me to explain.

I have said many times that feedback, good quality feedback, is worth its weight in gold.  With that certainly being true, I received a wealth of feedback for my submission.

I haven’t quite decided if I’m going to complete the story or not.  When I wrote it, I actually had it plotted to be a complete story although the plotting did need more details.  That certainly isn’t the point.  What makes the feedback so very valuable to me is the fact that I wrote the submission with the same thought processes and care that I write full-fledged books.  All the feedback for the submission is equally viable for all the other stuff I’ve ever written.

That is why I’m so thrilled with what I’ve received.   I firmly believe that the comments made against my submission will allow me to do better next year and to put a much more solid product forth to the various publishers I submit to.  Ultimately, I believe it will help me to become the published author I aim to be.

So there you have it.  It has been a very good week all around.  I’m starting to feel like a real writer and with that feeling I’m more certain than ever that I will have a book published one day soon.

I hope your week has been just as fulfilling.


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