Thursday, November 17, 2011

So now what?

Now that I've finished the first draft of my current project for My Own NaNo, what have I been doing?

Not doing more work on the book...yet.

I've been doing a lot of other things that got a bit sidetracked, including updating/revising some of my webpages, like the one for my Warrior Series. When you've got a series that has fourteen books and a novella, it takes a while to make changes.

We also did a maintenance run to the cottage. And we've been getting ready for our trip to visit our son next week.

If I feel I have time, I may print up a chapter or two of the My Own NaNo manuscript. The first chapter is surely a mess in need of drastic revisions. However, unless I have at least two hours to spare, I'll leave it until we're home, when I can go through the entire manuscript, hopefully at least once, before Christmas.

Since I'll be away next week, let me take the time now to wish everyone who's on the road next week a safe and happy holiday!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My Own NaNo - Done!

Whoo hooo! I have made My Own NaNo goal and finished my first draft - a day early, too.

Here are the details:

Total Word Count - 58,405
Total Days - 28
Average Word Count Per Day - 2085
Total Number of Chapters - 20

So now what do I do?

I'll print up a hard copy that I'll read and make copious notes upon. (I am old school that way.) I'll be revising and editing, and noting where I need "more", including whole new scenes. I'll be moving scenes and deleting others entirely. I'll be adding back story and a lot of description (because right now, there is pretty much none). I need to research some historical details, and I really need to make a map of the village and surrounding area, so those details are consistent. In other words, I have a lot more work ahead of me.

But here's the thing - I now have the journey all mapped out. To be sure, there may yet be some twists in the road and I will do at least two more complete drafts (if not 4 or 5), but I know who these people are, where they're going and how they're going to get there. I know who's important and who's not. And I have a couple of sequel possibilities to either work on more, or let die on the vine.

Somebody asked me how long the finished book will be. At this point, I'm thinking about 80,000 words, but I don't know for certain. I'll see when I get there.

Most important of all, though, I've proven to myself that even after a very long break with no writing at all, my imagination is still capable of creating a story and characters. I've experienced that rush of excitement when something unexpected happens as I'm writing, something that takes a character or a story to a whole new level.

If My Own NaNo had done nothing more than that, it would have been totally worth it.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My Own NaNo - the end is nigh!

On October 13 I started My Own NaNo. My goal was to jump start a writing project after a long break and finish a first draft. I hadn't really considered a date for the deadline; however, National Novel Writing Month uses a deadline of - obviously - a month, so my deadline for a finished first draft should be November 10.

I think I'm gonna make it!

I'm in the final chapters of my first draft. I've written a total of 51,464 words and figure I'll have another few thousand before I'm done.

This novel actually started out as a 20,000 word novella. Of that novella, I have used the same names for the hero and heroine, the same setting, some of the original set-up and approximate two paragraphs of text.

Yep, tossed out most of the novella and started fresh. There were major changes to the plot and the heroine's situation and background so rather than struggle to use what I'd already written, it was easier to just forget it and write fresh material.

What happens after the first draft is done?

I tear it apart, cut it down, revise and rewrite, adding new material as necessary. I expect to lose at least 10,000 words from the first draft and probably a lot more.

On the plus side, I've figured out the basic emotional arc of the main characters, as well as their backstories. I've decided on the basic plot - what happens to who, if not precisely the best order. I know which secondary characters are more important than others, and created some that come in at the end that are going to have to be added earlier. I've discovered what I need to spend time researching, and what I don't.

All of this means I still have a whole lot of work to do. But I'm not feeling my way in the dark anymore. I have lighting and a path to follow, even if the journey is far from over.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

New Excerpts!

I've uploaded new excerpts from the two books Avon is reprinting onto my website.

Here are the links:

Read An Excerpt from TEMPT ME WITH KISSES

This is the second book in the medieval series, and features the brother of the hero of the first, THE MAIDEN AND HER KNIGHT.

The other book Avon is reprinting is

Read An Excerpt from ALL MY DESIRE.

ALL MY DESIRE is the third book in the trilogy and features the sister of the heroine of THE MAIDEN AND HER KNIGHT and the son of the villain from that book.

I didn't have an excerpt for the first book in this medieval series, which is already available in digital format, so I've added one for it, too.


I never assume people have read previous books in a series, so if you don't have an ereader and can't read the first book, you shouldn't feel lost if you start with the second.