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July 1, 2012

CampNaNoWriMo is over, and I didn’t hit 50k.

And who freakin’ cares.

I chose to stop a week early, at 45k. I don’t need to hit 50k to know I can do it. I’ve done it many times before. It wasn’t about that. It was an exercise in character voice. As a learning experience, it was a success, but as a story, it was a failure, and that is why I stopped.

What I Was Trying To Do
I wanted to write a story with six POVs, with distinctive voices for each. Odd chapters featured a team of five superheroes. Even chapters focused on my poor, doomed psychic.

What I Learned
First, I got much better with character voice. Second, I learned that I can make really engaging characters. Third, I learned that in order to fully explore the emotional transformations of each of the characters over the course of the story, it would have to be 150k words long. I also realized all of the things that utterly didn’t work about my plot, things that I could not continue without fixing. And I don’t mean that in a perfectionist sense. I mean I was so stuck, the only way I could’ve written the next chapter is if God Himself sent an angel down to tell me what happens next (and cure cancer and stuff). So rather than force myself to come up with something awkward and unrealistic, I figured it was time for a break.

My initial instinct was to scrap it, and I wrote an incredibly forlorn Twitter post that called me back to my high school days. “Oh, woe is me, my novel is poop,” or something like that. Then I started thinking about ways to fix

Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

it. Now I have so many options, I don’t know which one to pick. So I’m taking a break. I’m going to let it sit long enough that I’m not emotionally attached to it anymore and I can objectively figure out what to cut and what to keep.

I have other stuff to focus on, anyway. Like work. And short stories.

Did I mention I’m taking a writing class?

The course is titled “Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction” and is taught by Philip Athans. I saw him speak at Emerald City Comic-Con earlier this year and have since been following his blog. When I saw that he would be the one teaching the class, I signed up. I’ve only had one class so far, but I can already tell it was a good decision. He wrote The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, which is quite popular.

Also, the Deep Cuts Anthology Kickstarter was successful! Congratulations to everyone involved.

Lastly, I just thought I should let you all know that I currently plan on attending the World Horror Convention in New Orleans next year. I’m excited. If you like horror, check it out.


From → General Advice

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