I ended up meeting the Summer NaNoWriMo target to write a novel in the month of July. Drawful the Awful “turned into” a novel right around July 4th, and as of last night, I finished the rough draft. I’ve got a story and characters in 55,000 words I’m very happy with, but only happy enough to continue working on because the thing needs some serious edits.
Looking forward, here’s the plan:
- Drawful posts will keep coming… to a point. I won’t put the complete story up here (sorry folks), nor will I update full edited installments, but there are a couple more weeks worth of posts scheduled to come up daily while I do other work “behind the scenes.” As with every project, the goal is to get this to a state to shop to agents and publishers, and if no one bites, I’ll self-publish this as I have two books before it.
- I’ll be trying to match my illustrator’s project schedule with my proofreads and edits. In addition to the final version of the book being revised and polished, it will once more have original cover art done by artist and friend, Melissa McDonald, and (a first for me) feature interior artwork as well. I’ll be sharing art here as she provides initial designs and sketches (so future Drawful installments may have original art rather than my random GIF selections).
- I’ll be musing in posts On Writing regarding the guidelines I’m setting for myself for edits and rewrites. There’s a lot of work to be done fleshing out characters for example. So many characters, ideas and concepts came to me on the fly while tearing through the overall outline to reach the end game. I described it to a friend as building the plane while flying it. Some concepts and characters ended up being more important than I originally intended when I put them in:
- Haverly was originally supposed to just be a whiny comic relief around the castle and King Nick, but I liked the character so much that I worked him into the twist ending and sent him off on his own adventure.
- Similarly, I came up with three generic burly men characters to give Drawful pause in the tavern scene (the first scene I wrote with this fully intended as a novel), and the warrior with the rural accent and his companion bard and cleric became recurring characters in a follow up scene with Haverly, as well as two more scenes later in the story. I want to smooth them out a bit (and actually name them), and cut them from three to two (I really only need the accented warrior and his bard who’s piss poor at rhyming, sorry Cleric fans).
- Originally, when this was a “joke” the idea was to have a bunch of takes on fairy tale Princes with serious character flaws trying to “win” the Princess Brooke, but over the course of writing the novel I began looking at this as a living breathing world, and to make the geography work, everything had to tighten and take place in a single Kingdom and its surrounding lands, which meant most of the Princes became wealthy heirs to nobility. I’ll have more thoughts on the world building in a later, separate post, but that’s an aspect of it.
Okay, all of the above being said, I’ll be relatively quiet for the coming week except for the automatic Drawful installments I already have scheduled. I like rewarding myself at milestones such as this with a few nights off (remember, I have a day job and do all this writing 2-3 hours a night after a full day’s work), and the time away from the material gives me a keener eye when I do start editing. Plus, I’ve got a four day weekend coming up to officiate a wedding for my best friend, so I’ll get back to work before then.
For now, I’ll leave you with the final lines from Drawful the Awful:
The Kingdom cheered and celebrated her. A wise woman had earned her throne. A strong woman had won and ascended to her throne. They celebrated her victory, they celebrated her accomplishment, they celebrated her future. For in her victory, future, and success, they could all see their own.
Whatever your grind is, be about your grind- we move forward.
Good luck NaNoWriMo authors! Stay at it!