So I’m doing NaNo in a few days and my novel is as ready as it’s ever going to be. I’m actually rewriting a novel I had finished 5 years ago. I lost all my drafts and notes when I moved 3 years ago, so I’m writing from a stale memory.
I’ve discovered I don’t write like most people. I make no outline, no character sketches. In fact I have no idea what my characters will do or say until they show up on the page. It’s like I am channeling fictional characters. I have a vague idea of how the story will go, and even have plans for a The Way, Part II. My biggest problem is my mind is holding my characters hostage for the last few years and I have lost numerous interesting characters. Hopefully, this cleaner version of the novel will actually be better because I won’t concentrate so much on who’s who.
My biggest issue is remembering the names of my characters. I spent some time figuring out the right name for each, and I cannot remember the name I gave my bad guy, which is actually a woman. There aren’t enough evil women in fantasy novels. Does the name of a character really matter? Would Frankenstein have been less popular had the scientist been named Smith? I considered making her a cross dresser, but admittedly, I know nothing about that, so I opted to go with a straight on female. But I want her to be unique and I believe I’ve lost some of that. Maybe it will come through in the next version of the novel.
I plan to break my usual method of writing by working on some character sketches and certain scenes from the book I can remember. I’ll be working on that for the next few days so I may be absent from my blog during November. Hope you won’t miss me too much. I plan to keep up with the blog, but just giving you fair warning, you may not see anything more interesting than me talking about how my novel is coming. Wish me luck, I’ve never been able to get too far with NaNo in the past, but I have the time and I can end my “retirement” in style with a finished novel and maybe even something that could actually get published.
I know many of the writers here publish their own books. I need to look into that possibility. It seems easy enough, but I question whether I have the marketing skills to put the book out there and get it read. How much marketing do you think you need? How much promotion do you do on your own? Sure, I can put it up on a Facebook page, promote it here, get it on Amazon, make it available digitally, but would that be enough? I’m not talking about making a lot of money, obviously, since it would probably be free or nearly so, but for the exposure? Do I send emails to agents to let them know I just published a book?
I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’m starting to feel excited about writing again. I even found a book I might be able to read. Reading always makes me want to write. Especially, if I really like or really dislike a book. Both instances make me want to succeed, to either be like the author I just read, or to be better than the author I just read. Of course, the book I’ve selected is Timeline by Michael Crichton. I doubt I am as good as he is. But maybe I am.