Saturday, November 9, 2013

NaNoWriMo - What Exactly is Going On?

I keep posting my NaNoWriMo updates on Facebook, and then people I talk to in person keep asking me what that means and what I'm doing.  So here's a little more info.

The idea is that you try to write at least 50,000 words of a novel between November 1st and 30th.  Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world are doing this (there are 293,135 writers participating this year, according to the official site).  So, that's what I've been working on every day this month in almost every spare moment of free time I've got.

Some Stats about my Novel:

title: the Collar and the Cavvarach
genre: speculative fiction (i.e. almost fantasy - it takes place in a different world, but it's one very much like our own)
word count so far (as of 2:45 p.m. on November 10th): 31,854 words
page count so far: 50
chapters written so far: 4 (+2 paragraphs)
total chapters needed (probably): 10
plot summary in a nutshell: A teenage warrior slave must risk everything to save his younger sister.
why collars are significant to the story: all slaves have to wear them
what a cavvarach is: a type of weapon used in a popular martial art in this world

Since I'm ahead in my word count, I'm not worried as to whether or not I'll get to fifty thousand words by November 30th.  But I really want to actually finish the whole novel!  According to current estimates, the total length could be anywhere between eighty and a hundred thousands words.  But that's my real goal - getting to the end by November 30th!

Even if I succeed, will it be well written and ready to publish by November 30th?  Definitely not!  This is only a rough draft, and I'm not rereading it until I get to the end.  It will need a LOT of polishing and revision!  But yes, I do hope to eventually publish it.  And if all goes well, it could be the start of a new series; I do have ideas for other characters and events in that world.

An artist in one of the NaNoWriMo forums was kind enough to draw my main character, Bensin, for me for free.  This isn't exactly how I pictured him (he wouldn't be quite that skinny, for one thing), but I think she did a pretty good job considering all she had to go by was a brief description.  You can see more of her artwork here.  Yes, that's a cavvarach he's holding, though my idea of what it should look like changed a little after I sent her the description.  The hook part should be at the top, not the bottom, and only the bottom blade would be sharpened to fight with.  (Part of a warrior's strategy is to try to get his hook around his opponent's and pull the other guy's cavvarach out of his hand.)

So, that's what's going on with my November.  I hope to post another update around the 20th, and again at the end.  In the meantime, if you catch me doing something other than writing, feel free to demand to know why I'm not working on my novel!

Click here to read a scene from The Collar and the Cavvarach.

Click here to read my first blog post about NaNoWriMo.

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