A Life Of Fiction CXXXVII

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

Another NaNoWriMo: By the time that you read these words November will have ended months ago. But I write these blogs quite some time in advance. I keep some back so that I don’t run out of material. Sometimes I write a few in a week. Sometimes I go weeks without writing a word. But I try to post weekly, so that those precious few people who follow me do not lose interest and drift away.

Anyway, as I write these words the end of November is approaching, and I am engaged in another NaNoWriMo. That is the National Novel Writing Month for those not in the know.

This is the second time that I have taken part. Last year the novel which I wrote was called Empire of Steam. You can find its chapters elsewhere on my website, if you want to read a novel which, from start to finish, was completed in seventeen days.

The novel for this year is Steam Park. As with last year I began writing the novel on the 1st of November. But, by this time last year (as I write) that short novel had been completed. The current novel is slightly longer. But, at three thousand words a day, I still hope to be able to finish it by the end of November. I want to be able to move on to the next project. I want to finish off all of the projects which I have put aside.

I spent around eleven months thinking around what I would do this year. Almost as soon as I finished my last NaNoWriMo novel I began thinking about what the next one would be like. I tried to work out the basic structure of the plot in my mind. But I didn’t make any physical notes. I felt that would be cheating. I didn’t write anything down until the first of November.

The point was, though, to be able to hit the ground running, as people say. I didn’t want to freeze up when faced with a blank Word screen. I knew that there would still be a lot of little details which I would have to work out. But I had hoped that they would come to me as I wrote.

I am not a sociable writer. I know that there were NaNoWriMo events, but I did not go along to any of them. I try to do as much writing as I can in the morning, when I have just woken up, and my mind is still fresh. The idea of writing all night, in strange surroundings, is anathema to me. Besides, the keyboard on my laptop has gone wonky. There is no way that I can write on it.

Well, I have finished the novel before finishing this post, so I may as well give an update before I sign off, and begin working on the next post. Steam Park, in the end, came in at 74,000 words. Which is not a very long novel, I admit. But it is at least a 50,000 word noel, and it was completed entirely during November (I completed it on the 25th, for those who are interested in such matters).

At some later date I will go back and redraft bits of the novel, I think, before sticking it on Kindle, or trying to get it published in more traditional manners. It is still a little rough in a few parts, especially towards the end. It should be as good as I can do if I am to try to get people to read it. But, generally speaking, I’m still happy at the way that it has turned out.

As soon as I finished writing it, though, I had an idea for a sequel, as the ending is a little downbeat. I had an image in my mind of what came next. So as soon as I finished the book I began working on Steam Park II. But if you are going to write a sequel to a book I think that you should do it as early as possible. You should do it while the first novel is still fresh in your mind; while you still inhabit the mind of your characters. You should do it while you still have that strong urge to tell their stories, and you have not yet become bored of writing about the same persons.

I don’t expect to do Steam Park II in a month, though.


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