I’ve decided I’m going to start talking about my novel in detail… Perhaps some teasers? I have to have an outlet to keep things fresh and since this is what my blog does usually – plus give me perspective and allow me to vent – what better way to keep me on track and working toward the finish line. So first, a recap of where I started and where I’ve been up until now…
The first version of my first draft began as my wanting to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November of 2008. And ended with me failing miserably and only writing like 5K words. Plus, I found out that while I had a great idea for a story, I didn’t know squat about writing. So, I read some books and I started learning more about the art and craft of being a writer. The nuts and bolts if you will. It was this year that my writing group was formed…
My second attempt at NaNoWriMo was the second version of my first draft in 2009 and I won that year with 50,000 words written in 30 days of November. What a crazy year that was! All while I was pregnant, too! This was the best and biggest chunk of story writing to date but it wasn’t amazing yet. After I went back and started editing and pulled it out to polish some stuff up to take with me to a writer’s convention last year, I realized that I’d written my main character all wrong. Like completely wrong. She’s supposed to be this kick ass woman who’s daughter gets kidnapped and she was instead this simpering little pussy who I would have hated to read about. She didn’t even get that upset when her seven year old daughter was taken. Instead she tags along with the other male character who is from another realm and isn’t even freaking out that much.
So, after trying to write something else (okay, anything else) for the 2010 NaNoWriMo I started over yet again – that makes third attempt at the first draft. I wrote some really great new stuff involving the male main character and his other realm but when it came time to write the main female character scenes I stalled. I still didn’t know exactly what she was going to be like and I didn’t want to fail yet again to capture her perfectly.
And then we had a writing prompt in the writer’s group last month which inspired me to write a scene that most likely fits somewhere in the middle of the book. I nailed her character! Being able to just write one scene and figure out how – in one isolated moment – she would react cemented everything for me and now I can go back and start writing her.
So, as soon as I’m done outlining and getting some basics down on where this story is heading so my discovery writing at least has a high level road map to keep me out of the weeds on the side of the road, I’ll be starting attempt number four of my first draft. Number. Four. I’m glad I’m stubborn (my mamma didn’t raise no quitter!) or I might have thrown in the towel several attempts ago. But, the story and the world I’ve uncovered within myself wants to get out so the world can read about them. Who am I to argue and complain that it’s taking entirely too long?
Why I ever thought that writing a novel would be easy should be shot. (Since I’ve read so many in my lifetime it should be a piece of cake, right?) Oh wait… that would be suicide, so I guess I’ll refrain! Stay tuned for new developments on this journey to a completed first draft which I’m hoping to happen before the end of the year… and yes, I mean THIS year.