Updates: Found a cool generator for Writer’s First Lines (and others). NaNoWriMo is in 5 days, my account is GoFantasyGoGo if you’d like to be buddies. There won’t be much information about the novel itself since I don’t want to release details yet, but I will be updating my wordcount as I go.
I was going to post about Diction (specifically about choosing vocabulary in fiction), but something felt off about the timing… So, instead, I was going to write about utilizing the powers of love and hate when developing characters, but that didn’t feel right either.
Thus, the following post is simply a journal entry about my current experience with the novel I’m writing, where I’m at and where I’m looking to go.
The Diction post (and powers post) should be coming sometime in the next couple of months.
BGM: Listen to Young the Giant for some background music.
Currently, I am editing the fourth chapter of my fantasy novel while preparing for NaNo.
My hope is to finish editing around 100 more pages before November 1. These are casual edits; it’s mostly for parts that are obvious errors or aesthetically displeasing that I either rewrite immediately or highlight to return later when I’m feeling in the groove of the particular scene’s mood. Chapter four has slowed editing down because I’m completely rearranging the main POV to be that of a different character.
Short stories and publishing procedures have been on my mind the last couple of weeks, spurred by wanting to have a submission recognized within a year. It’s an impatient desire that I temper while working on my novels; similarly, there are the urges to work on multiple novels at once. I have a number of stories kicking around in my head, but also, have a lot of concepts that I wish to extrapolate stories from… while at the same time, I’m focusing on improving my craft to create a consistent style so that I can successfully execute these stories as written works of art.
I’ve written a number of short story snippets/starts, but none of them are at a level that I seek. When it comes to short stories, I keep challenging myself and don’t feel like stopping any time soon… even if it doesn’t culminate in many submit-friendly pieces (which it doesn’t).
An issue that’s been coming up while writing are decisions about inclusion of diversity and alternate lifestyles, while keeping it relatable; how much to focus on differences, how to present them, how to relate lifestyles that I haven’t lived myself but am capable of story-weaving conjecture, how to present sensitive topics and emotions, whether it is worth including on-the-edge subject matters and materials in stories or if I should stick to easily marketable, safe options? What is acceptable and what is taboo?
But I, personally, enjoy alternative lifestyles and fringe beliefs. I admire variety and vastly different forces interacting with each other. I believe in freedom of thought and acceptance of true human nature, not just blindly obeying social codes of contemporary moments.
So, why wouldn’t I include such elements in my fiction? Partly, it is because I do not wish to offend that I hesitate and analyze. The last thing I want to do as an author is to put work in the stream that I don’t believe in; that’s why I threw away my 2012 novel. I could have published it, but I didn’t because it wasn’t something I wanted people to believe in or dream about. Plus, dimension-warping serial killers and hardcore queer erotica can only get so far in the marketplace, right?
Anyways, I’ve done pretty well this past month or so in focusing on my fantasy novel and I’ll be continuing the trend in November and December until it is done!
…Well, until the first draft is done, then editing and editing and editing and publishing… which will be a whole host of its own compounded issues… but I’ll get there when I’m there and for now, I’ve got 100 pages to edit and some passion to stir up before the 1st comes. I’m not allowing myself to actually write prose for the next 5 days, to save it up… because yeah, that works for me. Shuddup.
In other news, I’ve been glancing over agents and reading some non-fiction books to bolster my understanding of where I want to go with my fiction. It can feel overwhelming to look through all of the information, so I’m shelving that thought until my draft is complete. Once I’m finished and can see the contents of all the scenes (as actually written), I have a hunch I’ll know what I need to do next.
Really, where I am at in this moment, is that I’m looking forward to finishing my first novel so that I can write the second that will be coming after it in the series… because that’s going to be fun to write. Tiny ideas of stand-alone novels from the same world, but different time points/locations keep nudging me now and then. There are also novels that I dropped working on in order to focus on this one, that I’m itching to revisit.
Lately though, I’ve been looking forward and enjoying writing powerful fight scenes. On the flipside, it’s hard to get through the more mundane scenes that I’ve outlined so I don’t tend to write linear (instead I jump around to write whatever my mood is most aligned with), but for NaNo, I’m going to keep linear more or less in order to “crank it out”, as they say.
I have a couple rewards that I set aside to keep motivated on sluggish days; when I publish my debut novel, I will be getting myself a very comfortable, oversized sweater… and a self-heating coffee mug because necessary. :I
Halloween is a special time for me, many reasons and so, I won’t be around on WP much until NaNo gets swinging.
Happy Halloween and Samhain!
– Dominika (October 26)