Early in June I thought I’d try my hand a writing a novel in a month. Now, on the last day of the month, I can report something: Success. (insert requisite number of exclamation marks). With the success comes a tinge of, if not quite failure, at least some stumbling.
The success is that I have completed the draft of the novel. It came in at 61,497 words. Right on the mark as far as my novels go, and the general length for books in the series. I finished up on the 29th – a day to spare, yay. A couple of thousand words a day.
I celebrated the completion by opening up a new file and starting the writing of a new story. Since writing it pretty much the most fun thing, a new story is a great way to celebrate.
I hope to have the book out by the end of the year, once it’s knocked into shape. It’s cool to have a cover just about ready for it.
The stumbling, I suppose, came from the direction the story took. The Karnish River Navigations series is hard science fiction. It’s set in the distant future, on a distant planet, with some very high-tech premises. While those are present in Guest House Izarra, in places I realized that the action was taking a front seat, making the story angle off towards a straight thriller. That’s fine, it was still fun to write, but I’m not sure who the audience will be. Perhaps readers of the other books in the series will be forgiving. I’ll definitely make sure the next one is very tech-dependent. I’ll probably start that one in August. I’ll take more than a month over it, though, I think.
I noticed that right away with the new story too: a swing of the pendulum the other way. High tech all the way. Very much fun to write.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve challenged myself to write a novel in the month of June. Looks like I’m on track.
20 days down, 44,102 words written. Running about ten percent ahead of target. Naturally some of those words will go before it sees the light of day.
While I’m having a ball writing the book, I’m finding I need to ensure I don’t borrow too much time from other activities. Sometimes that extra half-hour or so of writing each day pushes into the business of getting things formatted and out. Still, all a good learning experience.
Somehow I’ve managed to maintain momentum with my target of writing a novel in June. As I mentioned earlier my novels seem to come in at around 60,000 words. So far through June, with 15 of 30 writing days completed Guest House Izarra stands at 33,194 words. So I’m running about ten percent ahead.
How’s the writing itself? Well, I’m happy with progress. Feel like I’m going in the right direction. Don’t feel like there’s much that will need to be cut. So far.
We’ll see. I feel like I have a few thousand words ‘in the bank’, so to speak. With the last couple of days writing, cycling back through the previous days’ work, I wonder if this will be a shorter book anyway.
Either that or much longer. It might have to continue to July if that’s where the story goes. I don’t want to arbitrarily force it shorter just to finish within the month.
I’m glad to have a draft mock-up draft of the cover in place. Nice similar look to Arlchip Burnout. It still needs a tagline or something else at the top I think. I’ll have to track down art that’ll work for the other books too. With this one, the background is by Antaltiberiualexandru, and the figure by Algol. Kind of shows the book just about perfectly.
Glitches? Well, I had hoped to get finished with formatting my earlier novel Athena Setting for release already. Somehow though, when I imported the original document into the formatting software I dropped out all the italics. And it wasn’t until I’d just about completed formatting-page breaks, chapter headings, bookmarks and so on-that I realized. So now I’m in the process of working through to put all the italics back in. Sheesh. Starting to think it might have been easier to re-import and do all that other formatting over again.
Anyway, that’s slowing other aspects down. Still focusing on getting a couple of thousand words down every day.
I’ll see how the rest of the month goes.
In my last post I talked about my plans to write a novel in June. One of my Karnish River Navigations series (which only has one book out so far, but more coming soon).
My novels usually come in around 60,000 words (a couple of exceptions there – The Cly is around 90,000, but I got a bit carried away with that one. A theme for another post). With 30 days in June, that means hitting 2000 words a day. Through May I managed over 1900 a day, but I had a few days off work for focused writing. Usually I’m aiming for a 1500 word daily average through any given month.
I thought I’d update quickly with my last few days. I had Sunday at Au Contraire, the New Zealand Science Fiction Conference (again, a post for another time), so was busy on Sunday, but had Monday morning at the hotel, simply writing with few distractions.
Friday June 3rd – 2015 words
Saturday June 4th – 2150 words
Sunday June 5th – 2073 words (squeaked in there – up late writing after the SJV awards)
Monday June 6th – 3110 words -yay!
Cumulative total: 13980 (including 2478 and 2154 words from the 1st and 2nd). Feel like I’m on track. Some of those words are bound to end up deleted, I’m sure, so it’s good to be ahead.
Well, at the risk of making a fool of myself, I’m going to attempt writing a novel in June. And update with my word count as I go.
Now, I’ve written novels fast before – as little as forty days. But thirty days? That’ll be something new.
I know about NaNoWriMo. I know plenty of people take that challenge successfully. Right now I figure why wait until November?
Also, my plan is to write good copy. No sloppy writing to be fixed-up later. I want it as clean as possible so there’ll be minimal revision needed.
The novel I’m attempting is another in my Karnish River Navigations series. There’s just one book, Arlchip Burnout, available at the moment. I have the second and third written already and in the process of first readers and copyediting and so on at the moment. I hope to have the second book, Canal Days, available in a couple of months, followed by the as-yet-untitled third book a month or so after. The fourth, Guest House Izarra (working title), upon which I’m now embarking perhaps soon after that. If I can get it written and knocked into shape those might be October, November and December releases (notice how I let myself off the hook a bit there?).
As I work on this new novel, I’ll update periodically (weekly?) here with wordcounts.
Writing Guest House Izarra:
Wednesday June 1st: 2478 words
Thursday June 2nd: 2154 words