What did I finish this week? The first draft of my novel! Yes, I know, those few of you who stuck with me through November got endless updates about NaNoWriMo, and know that I hit 50k words before Thanksgiving. That was enough to win NaNo, but not enough to finish my novel. I've been plugging away, and on Wednesday of this week, I reached the end.
So I'm celebrating this week. Maybe this weekend I'll do my first read-through, fix up all the glaring grammar/spelling errors (I have a wicked bad habit to never add ends of words. I get the main word, but forget about any -s or -ed or -ing that's supposed to be at the end. Weird, huh?) I'm curious to see how it turned out.
I'll include here a brief back-cover-type blurb about my novel:
In an alternate Earth, chaos reigns. Civilization as we know it has collapsed, fueled in part by a drug called Frantic. In our world, Kara, a single mother, and Erik, her teenaged son, are given a cure for Frantic. Will Kara and Erik be able to face the dangers before them, and will their efforts to spread the cure be enough to save a dying world?I'm not sure yet what the title is going to be. I've considered Frantic or Hope for Frantic. But I don't love either.
Well, that's it. Now the hard work begins.
One of the great things about NaNoWriMo is that throughout the month, they send out emails from published authors to cheer you on. Some are really helpful, and we were sent an especially great one a few days ago from Kelley Armstrong. In it, she talks about how what you get out of NaNo might be the realization that your story isn't novel-worthy. And that it's okay if that's the result, that you still got a month of writing practice, a month of trying out a new idea. This was important for me to hear, because last year, my NaNo novel crashed and burned. Oh yeah, I have 50k words from 2007 (actually a lot more than 50k). It's a novel. A stinky novel, SOOO not worth editing or rewriting. But I've felt like it was a cheat, that I did the easy, fun part of creating the novel, and then wimped out on the less fun, more difficult editing.
But I really needed to read that pep talk from Kelley Armstrong. Because this year's novel has left me with such a different feeling than 2007. Sure, my novel this year is still rough. Really rough. But it's worth revisiting. And I'm glad someone has said that the piece of crap I wrote last year wasn't a complete waste of time, even if I never look at it again. So thank you, Kelley Armstrong. I'll have to look for one of her books. If her advice is so helpful, it's worth trying one of her novels.
And 2007 wasn't a total waste. In the process of researching a fairly minor plot point, I stumbled upon all the "eat local" stuff in a big way. I had already been on the CSA bandwagon, but researching more fully about the eat local movement really changed the way I think about food: what we eat, how we buy it, how it is produced. So maybe I didn't get a good novel out of 2007, but I did get a revamped outlook on eating.
But I hope what I get out of 2008 will be a novel. Even if it's never published, even if it's never worthy of sending out, I hope it's still a novel. We'll see. For now, I'm FINISHED FOR FRIDAY!