ROW80 goals? Cruising by on the minimum. Preparing to ramp up for the fourth round.
My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I’ve learned to deal with this, and I’m now OK with throwing away food instead of stuffing it in my face. I have a similar problem with writing; I am fortunate to have more story ideas than I know what to do with. When this blog was centered on being an aspiring writer, I created pages for The Kingdom Come Novels, which are polyamorous SciFi Romance, Victoria Pontifex, which is Steampunk Romance, Pangalactic Sojourners, which is inspirational LGBTQ romance, the Incorporeum, which is weird SciFi, and The Cities of Luna which is SciFi. I later added Lillie Lane when I published The House on Paladin Court. I may add a page for Tumbleweed or combine it with The Cities of Luna.
Generally speaking, the Spec Fic is published, the Romance is not.
Instead of throwing away the stories I don’t have time for, they go on the shelf. They can stay there indefinitely until I decide to put my time and energy into them.
I will make time in November, as I do every year for NaNoWriMo. Since 2010, I’ve succeeded four times and failed twice. The failures both came when something else in life intervened and I decided to set aside my NaNo novel. Last year, it was the move to Colorado.
I’m still struggling with schedules and transitions. Although I’m carving out time for writing (and everything that goes with it) I need to escalate that in order to turn this into a reasonable career instead of an expensive hobby. I’m on the cusp of making that happen…I just need to put my energy in the right place.
Energy is a rare and valuable commodity.
Success at NaNoWriMo means more than diving in. It means prep work, which I need to start in October. It means organizing my writing commitments such as interviews and guest blog posts (both of which suffered recently when I wasn’t feeling well) as well as the monthly short stories in The Cities of Luna and the weekly chapters in Tumbleweed. It means making arrangements in the mundane aspects of life so that meals are easy to fix and childcare is adequate.
The first step is to decide what to work on this year. I have succeeded in doing Kingdom Come novels for NaNo, and I love writing them. I have a duology that I’ve queried to good reception but no acceptance. However, I think these need to stay on the shelf for a little longer… I would like to release them in sets, similar to what Netflix does by releasing an entire season of a series all at once, so people can bingewatch it. It is doubtful that I’ll find a publisher willing to do this unless I already have something sufficiently profitable attached to my name. I may self-pub these so I have the control to do something non-traditional.
I like the idea of picking up the Steampunk series again. That’s what I put aside last year during NaNoWriMo when I found out we had to move. The five books have an overall arc, and I need to make sure nothing has to change regarding that arc in book one when I finish book five. That doesn’t mean I have to have all the books finished before I query, but I should at least have them strongly outlined or in rough draft form. This would be a good series to query to an agent for traditional publishing, which is one of my goals.
It would be prudent to keep my brain in the same universe as The Cities of Luna and Tumbleweed, since I’m actively publishing those at the moment. I could do a full-length novel in Tumbleweed and self-pub it. That would require an investment in editing and cover art, but it’s a worthwhile project and fits in well with what I’m already doing.
There’s also the Pangalactic Sojourners which, like Victoria Pontifex is a five book set. The arc in these is simply a loose connection of characters, though, like many sets of regency romances where there are five sisters and each gets her own book. I have a particular publisher in mind who may like these, so they are worth working on.
I have three Incorporeum short stories published in the Biblical Legends Anthology Series. I have a longer story that could be a novel or novella that I’d like to send to the same publisher, but it needs a lot of work. I could do the prep work during October, then write it for NaNo.
Besides these, there’s always that new something shiny to tempt me. I love creating new worlds, but as fun as it is, it’s a lot of work. Even doing Tumbleweed, which is the same world as The Cities of Luna, took a lot of energy. (The setting is different in place and time even though the universe is the same.) Although the idea of thinking up something brand new is attractive, and could help shake out the cobwebs in my head, it would not be a prudent choice.
I still don’t know what I’ll choose. It will most likely be something that already exists in some form, which is not true to NaNo where the idea is to start and finish in one month, not pick up a half-finished project. We’ll see.
Who else has used NaNoWriMo to finish a project?