I write novels.
I tried to write novels in my twenties, but I never got past chapter two and ended up taking ten years off from writing fiction. I came back to it by signing up for National Novel Writing Month in 2004, and I have competed and won every year since.
Finishing NaNoWriMo gives you a completed story arc – a very rough first, or even zeroth, draft. What I have not done with any of these early drafts is completed them. This is a run down of the stories I have worked on in NaNoWriMo, and where each of those stories is now.
2004 – The Vampire Hunters
A story about vampires and their effect on the humans they touch. The original version was first person and had a good voice but problems with the incomplete knowledge of the MC: meetings kept popping up to tell him something he needed to know, or at least something the reader would like to know.
I tried rewriting in third person to work around that, but the voice was lost. Then I tried alternating first and third person, but the third person chapters displayed massive thematic overload: I came up with so many ideas I had to put in. Any rewrite will go back to first person and have a much tighter thematic focus.
2005 – The Flamecrown of Kissiltur
A story about a boy who becomes a king. It was about halfway through writing this when I realised that this was actually a trilogy: the multiple points of view I was using and the scope of the setting were such that I didn’t see any way to fit this into one novel satisfactorily.
2006 – Paragons
A story about the end of the world. This was supposed to be apocalyptic horror, but ended up being mostly lab techs whinging about their jobs. Usually I read my books six weeks after completion, but this one was so obviously bad during the writing of it that I didn’t open it for several years. My fears were entirely justified.
There’s still a story in here that I want to tell, but not like this.
This is the closest I have come to not finishing without external circumstances intruding.
2007-2010 – The Kissiltur Trilogy.
Expanding out the story from the 2005 effort. I wrote early drafts of all three books, then worked on the second draft of book one in 2010. I love this setting and the characters.
The book two draft in 2008 was the other year I nearly didn’t finish, because I lost my job halfway through November. I hit the basic word count goal, and finished the story later.
2011 – A Turquoise Song
A near future science fiction story about robots, aliens and synaesthesia. The longest work I have written in November at more than 80,000 words.
So as of now I have two books in active development:
- Book One of the Kissiltur Trilogy – what I call my main WIP. This is about halfway through what is properly a third draft, working to enhance the drive ofthe characters. This is the book I plan on shopping around the traditional publishing route once it’s ready to go.
- A Turquoise Song – the first draft got positive feedback from early readers. I need to rework quite large chunks of it, but this is the one I plan on self-publishing.
So that’s what I have in the works. How about yourself?