I swear I meant to do this post weeks ago. December has really gotten away from me!
NaNoWriMo was a HUGE success for me this year. November resulted in a higher word count than I’ve ever had in such a short period of time. I’m still pretty astounded at my numbers, to be honest.
Check it out:
That’s right. Over SIXTY-SIX THOUSAND words for the month of November. I am overwhelmed that I did so much in four weeks. Earlier this year I pounded out 65k in a 6.5-week period, but that was with all-day daycare Monday through Friday and little else in the way of work. So this? Amazing. Especially when, around mid-month, I thought I was going to fall short by a few thousand as I was actually behind the 1,667 daily word goal. (To read the first few pages, click here.)
You would think there wouldn’t be a down side to this, but I managed to find one. When I start a novel, my goal is roughly 100k words. As Apprentice is YA, I was actually shooting for less (between 80-90k max). As you can see from my progress bar over on the right hand side of the page here, my current word count is over 94k as of this posting. And I’m only about three-quarters of the way through the story. I’ve adjusted the goal to 120k accordingly, but I’m dreading the editing on this one. Many a word shall fall to the red pen when it is complete.
For the record, The Dreamer’s Thread clocked in at a whopping 132k, I think, which is also way too long. I’ve tentatively scheduled it for revision in 2013, but who knows if I’ll actually get to it or not. I’ve got a lot of other irons in the fire right now and TDT is not even in the top five to-dos.
My creative priorities right now:
- My GFL novella commission for Scott Sigler.
- Recording a few things.
- Growing my design business.
- Finish Apprentice.
- Edit Apprentice.
- Finish Master of Machines (AW#2).
- Edit MoMAW2.
- Do some heavy rework on a heretofore untalked about sci-fi romance novel and finish that up. (been thinking about that one a lot more lately and it may move up on my list)
And, as life loves to interfere in the creative process, things will come up that will inevitably put off some, most, or (hopefully not) all of these goals. So you can see how TDT falls in the scheme of things. It may not be a world I want to go back to, especially if my time is limited. A few people have mentioned wanting to see more from that universe, and while I have some things started, it’s pretty doubtful I’ll go back to them at this point. Maybe not, though. Maybe I’ll get the revision done and find I’m enthralled with the concept all over again and a sudden burst of inspiration will possess me. With all the things on the list above, however, I doubt it.
BUT! On to other things!
The Young Writers Program was an interesting experiment this year. I didn’t really know how well the Minions would do given such a massive task, and the results were mixed. I started out with lofty goals for them (which I still maintain they could meet if they tried), made them more reasonable as I saw their writing paces, decreased them again as I wanted them to have at least something to show for their efforts, and then eventually stopped fighting them altogether.
Both 1.0 and 2.0 reached their half-way points and earned their t-shirts, but not much after that. Maybe part of that was my fault, as I became more focused on MY writing the more they fought me on our post-dinner writing time. Maybe I should have been more insistent. A big part of this was that I wanted to show them what creating a story for THEM was like. I wanted to teach them a few things about being creative, like when to follow the rules and when to ignore them, how it does take work and discipline and isn’t always fun, seeing the bigger picture, exploring what makes their characters (and, by extension, other people) tick, and opening them up to observations about the world that they may take for granted. One thing that was more evident in 1.0 than 2.0 (probably more to do with the age difference) was their thinking from cause to effect. Where 2.0 would write a character suddenly getting hurt without the reader having any understanding of why, 1.0 was much more conscious of this, writing to show what happened first and then how the characters reacted to it. The two are so close in age I’ve never really had as full a demonstration of their internal development differences as I have during this YWP experiment. They may wear almost the same size clothes and play with the same toys, but their heads are in very different places.
It wasn’t just the kiddos who learned stuff. I learned a LOT about them and what goes on in those secretive little minds of theirs. I watched their confidence levels grow and it made me smile. I felt really good knowing that I helped bring that out, however much or little it was. I don’t know what their takeaway was, and maybe they don’t yet either, but I think it was good for them to at least try.
So, it was a mixed bag. It was both a mom WIN and a mom patience FAIL. It evens out in the long run, I think. Whether or not I attempt it again next year is anyone’s guess. There’s lots of stuff happening between now and then. Right now I’d say I’d probably give it a shot sans-workbook. They might work for classrooms, but for us I think it caused some burn-out even before November started. Some of it was good, but I think we’d do better to do some open discussion about writing and books and a little bit of outlining the week before go time. That’s my kids though. Each one is different and you have to approach them accordingly.
For Christmas I’m giving them gift certificates for Mom’s editing and design services. If they finish their stories (regardless of length), I’ll type up and edit their manuscripts and create covers for them. And who knows? Maybe they’ll finish them after all. Depends on how much they want to see me work, I suppose. LOL
But that’s it for the wrap-up. Enjoy your holidays!