The actual progress
NaNoWriMo Progress, week two: definitely not as strong as week one.
On the other hand, “week one” was three days, one of which I had off, so the judgment scale is a wee bit biased. At this point in my life, I know that I can write about 2,000 words in an evening if I have a solid project and I’m properly in the zone. When circumstances align and everything comes together, I can be pretty productive!
But this first “full” week of November, I’ve run into all the expected sort of roadblocks. The dayjob is hitting the busiest stretch of the year, where our bosses either hint hopefully or outright ask for people willing to do overtime and it’s all hands on deck. My bosses are great and understanding people, but we definitely hit a big crunch from November all the way through to January. And shockingly, being intensely busy at work does drain a lot of energy. Plus, we host a local “Friendsgiving” potluck every year, which is a lot of fun, but still something that requires time, energy, and planning. Plus with Daylight Savings up here in the Pacific Northwest, things get dark at 4 p.m. It always feels like it should be bedtime when I get home from work.
In the end, those are explanations that kind of veer into being excuses. I could buckle down and pick one of the several things I’m working on — like I mentioned last week, I decided that I would apply myself to various projects, and see how that helps with my NaNoWriMo progress. I’m excited about these projects! And with a week down, I have a better idea of what I’m doing, and what all I want to be working on for the rest of November.
What else I’ve got
A year or so ago (possibly longer, oops), Less Than Three Press (my publisher; link leads to my books) had an open call, one for friends to lovers and one for enemies to lovers. I was completely hype for the idea (I still am; the stuff that came from that call was all fantastic), but though I had several (which I think are still good, and would like to write them in time), for various reasons it didn’t pan out. I finished a story, but at the time I found myself pretty dissatisfied with the end result. So I sat on it for a year, did a reading edit pass, got some betas to look it over, and I finally think I’m moving this project in a direction I like.
The story follows a young exorcist, Noah Verlaine, who returns to his small hometown after the unexpected death of his partner and best friend. His hope is to find some closure on both that and the death of his father from years before — but, of course, nothing can go quite that easily. There’s a lot waiting for him in this little town, and whether he can get to the bottom of it while keeping himself safe and sane will be entirely up to him. It’s not a fairytale like most of what I write, though there’s still a lot of supernatural and mythological elements. No matter how modern I go, I always want some of that in the stories I write.
I’m excited to finally have some concrete crit on what went wrong with the initial draft, as well as some good clear points that I can focus on to change, expand, and even scrap entirely. Trying to figure out the problem on my own clearly didn’t go anywhere, so thank goodness for the betas who took the time to read and give me feedback on how to make it better. My hope is to have it in a state for proper submission sometime next year — preferably sooner than later, though of course we’ll have to see. I don’t want to rush this reworking; with all the work and thought I’ve put into the story, I’d like it to be the best I can make it before a professional editor sees it.
(That is, of course, assuming it gets accepted. I can hope, at least!)
As mentioned last week, I have been inspired to pick up Twine again. A few years ago, I wrote one Twine-based chose your own adventure story based on the legend of Lenore and her demon-lover. Chalk that up to another thing I’d like to rework someday, especially as Twine macros have changed and improved since then.
But that’s not the story I’m working on this time around. Instead, I’m thinking about a story about a (possible) ghost in an android body — the story of a man who receives an AI in an android body for him to design into the sort of companion he wants, and the ambiguity of just what (or who) he’s created. There’s a lot of interesting potential in Twine’s formatting for me; my girlfriend’s already had to listen to me spontaneously burst out about some new different trick I’ve learned. I’m hoping to utilize a lot of that, though hopefully not to a point where it becomes obnoxious.
And then, of course, there are the shorter pieces I’m writing weekly. That also counts for NaNoWriMo progress, even if it’s only in small 200 word bumps in a day. As long as it’s something I’m writing for myself, and not because of the dayjob, I’m going to at least consider counting it.
As of today, before any other input, my wordcount stands at 19,481. About halfway there, just before the halfway point of the month! Knock on wood, but I’m starting to feel like maybe I can make at least the 50K cumulative wordcount after all.