50,000 words in 30 days? No sweat.
Wow, I'm such a terrible liar.
Honestly, I'm freaking out. That's the equivalent of writing Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) or The Giver (Lois Lowry) or The Invisible Man (H. G. Wells) in ONE MONTH. But I'm also excited. Why have I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month this November? Because I'm tired of procrastinating.
As usual, there's a story to this. Read on.
My story for NaNoWriMo
Twelve years ago, at the imaginative age of fourteen, I wrote my Phoenix Trilogy in just about four months. Okay, so I had a lot of time to write back then, and wasn't so concerned about quality. By the time I finished the third book, I finally knew what I wanted to do with the series, so I started writing it over again.
In the following years, I rewrote the first book, The Moonstone, four times. I'm not joking. I rewrote the whole stinkin' book from the ground up every time. One time, I got up the gumption to write the second book, The Prophecy. Guess what? Halfway through the process, I accidentally deleted the whole thing. I bawled my eyeballs out, invested $75 in a retrieval program, prayed, panicked, and... Nope. It was gone.
Years later, I was halfway through my second revision of The Prophecy when I realized that the story was way too big for me. I needed to go back to The Moonstone and lay the groundwork. But I was pooped out. I dropped the project altogether.
When I recently checked back on The Moonstone, I hated it. It's entertaining, but my writing style has changed. Way back when I was first writing (and revising) the Phoenix Trilogy, I showed my character's thoughts and jumped back and forth amongst characters. That's not my style anymore. In real life, you get no clue into a person's thoughts except through his expressions, body language, actions, and dialogue. That's how I prefer to write. Let the reader become a detective of human nature--and the personality that comes through will be all the more powerful and believable.
So here I am, poised on the edge of my fifth revision of The Moonstone, and I'm psyched to finally do justice to the story that has been burning my brain since I was fourteen.
Why I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo
A friend first told me about NaNoWriMo about the time I wrote the original Phoenix Trilogy. I loved the concept, but felt I wasn't ready to commit to it. I like doing things on my own time.
Every year, as November approached, I saw flickers of the event on social media, on websites and writer's blogs. This year, like past years, I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice if I did this some year?" But, as usual, I made excuses for why I couldn't do it.
I'm in the middle of another story.
My sister's baby is due any day and I agreed to help her out after the birth.
There's no way I can write an average of 1667 words a day.
But the words of my sister, Martian Kitty, kept bugging me:
And that's when I took a hard look at NaNoWriMo. If I can write 50,000 words in 30 days, I know I can do anything I commit to. I know I am capable of more than I realize. I know my stories are ready for the world.
Summary of my NaNoWriMo project
Katryl was born to the wild Highlands of Dashan, but when her village is attacked by raiders, she discovers that her mother's past is more than she has been told. But her mother's Moonstone holds more questions than answers. Katryl's quest takes her into enemy territory, down into the wonders and dangers of Undercountry, and deep into the hidden places of her own heart.
(I am obscenely proud of the cover I mocked up to fire my imagination.)
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I write YA/adult fantasy & sci-fi that burns through the darkest realities with truth and redemption.
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