Writing Novels

photo-1What better topic to write my tenth post about than my very favorite hobby, trumping (yes, it’s true), even photography: novel-writing? 

I’m writing a novel. How cool does that sound? To me, novel-writing nerd that I am, the answer is: very. It seems that none of my blog posts (or at least 1 in 2 blog posts) can go without a mention of my novel. (Yes, I said novel. As in, “I’m writing a word novel”.) So I thought, why not write a post about it?

My novel-writing career began in YWP NaNoWriMo‘s 2011 program, when I decided to write a 10,000-word fantasy novel about dragons. It was quite an intriguing idea, actually, but, I guess, being in seventh or eighth grade, I wasn’t a very skilled writer (nor am I now, but that’ll be in a different post. I think.). The novelette reached its end at about 17,000 words with quite a cheesy, unoriginal plot.

Well, back then I thought it was good. Great, actually.

So I didn’t bother to edit it, just basked in the praise of my family and friends, “Wow, you wrote a novel in seventh/eighth grade?!” and continued on to write my first script in the last YWP Scriptfrenzy (in April 2012), another program hosted by the same NaNoWriMo staff; only, this time, the objective was to write a script in a month, instead of a novel.

For all my April planning, I earned this NaNoWriMo Planner badge!

For all my April planning, I earned this NaNoWriMo Planner badge!

Well, mine was basically a radio script, and so I had two narrators who did a lot of narrating and talking… about a science fiction and dystopian world. Yes, a science fiction and dystopian world. In a script. Crazy, right? But the idea seemed to take off with my writer buddies, so I kept writing it after April. Then end-of-the-year finals came around in school and with the studying and craziness of it all, I ended up not writing it for a pretty long time.

I actually didn’t work on the novel until that summer, when, bestowed upon by greater free time, I wrote like crazy. The plot was terrible, but I achieved 100 pages in iBook format before I realized that. Oh, well. The idea died out after that, again, and didn’t really come back around until Camp NaNoWriMo 2013 (April, again), during which I looked for a novel to write or continue… of course my twice-failed script/novel-thing came to mind!

It goes to say I spent basically the ENTIRE MONTH working on the outline for that novel, with a brand-new plotline. I renamed, reformatted, and re-aged basically all of the characters until I was completely satisfied with the plotline, characters, and overall concept of the book. Basically, I created a whole futuristic world, with its own history (us being, of course, in the very distant past, having lived thousands of years ago).

When I left my outline behind to write seat-of-the-pants, I earned this pantser badge from NaNoWriMo (meaning I write seat-of-my-pants!)

When I left my outline behind to write seat-of-the-pants, I earned this pantser badge from NaNoWriMo (meaning I write seat-of-my-pants!)

I started to write the book… but was immediately overwhelmed by an enormous sense of writer’s block. Well, I ended up having to wait until July 2013 for the motivation to roll around, and, having shut down my inner editor, immediately wrote about 20,000 words in a month–a record for me.

Writer’s block came a couple times during the month (once when I accidentally had a friend harshly critique my still-fragile zeroth draft, and once when I got overwhelmed by life again), but for the most part, my novel-writing went pretty good! After July, I kept writing through August and will hopefully have the drive to keep writing through September, October, November, December, January, February… or at least until the first draft is finished.

Needless to say, I love my characters, though I’m kind of winging my way through my story due to some unexpected inspiration and plot changes (despite all the planning… ugh.). I prefer not to post short excerpts of my story ANYWHERE online, but you can check out my NaNoWriMo profile in the hopes you’ll get a glimpse of my stats during the month of November 2013. I’ll be referring to my novel as CW on this site, just a heads-up so you know what it is.

Anyways, I should go and write my novel now!


– S


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