November starts with such good intentions. Write a novel, start to finish, in thirty days. It can be done. Did it last year. Can do it again this year, right?
Yeah. About that.
Last year's NaNoWriMo novel was an historical romance set in 1777 British-occupied New York City, entitled THE REVOLUTION OF CLARA SIMPSON*. I'd spent several weeks in October doing the research and, at the start of the month, already had the first chapter (more or less) written. While more research was necessary during November, the bulk of the time was devoted to writing.
Eliza Floyd is the best friend of Clara Simpson in last year's novel. I've wanted to tell her story, too, and thought this year's NaNoWriMo would be the perfect time to sit down and do it.
So, starting on November 1st, I pulled out the two paragraphs I'd written last year and set aside and let my fingers start creating, drawing a clear picture of Miss Floyd and her mother in a carriage as they left the city for safer environs.
Fifteen minutes later (after writing one hundred and fifty words), I needed to look up a detail about the family. Which, of course, led to delving deeper into the New York City culture of the time. And where, exactly, was their destination? I know I bookmarked a map that was very helpful last year...
Two hours passed and the story wasn't any further, the questions in my head that needed further research had quadrupled and it became quite clear that, if I wanted to complete a novel for NaNoWriMo, Eliza's story wasn't the one to tell.
I have another novel I'd been working on that I set aside when WINTER BREAK (a novella that will be released at the end of this month) came along. It's already 22,000 words long. Another 30K should finish it off. But then I couldn't count it as a NaNoWriMo novel. The goal is one novel, one month, 50,000 words.
What to do? What to do?
It's already the third day in and so far, I have nothing to show for it. With edits soon to be returned for WINTER BREAK, and a half-written novel started, it really makes more sense to abandon the noble NaNo goals and concentrate on those works-in-progress. This way, I'll have one new piece released just after Thanksgiving and another new novel ready for release just after Christmas.
All that means, no NaNoWriMo for me this year. The timing just doesn't work out.
*THE REVOLUTION OF CLARA SIMPSON is currently "in the queue" at two publishers. Thought going the traditional route might bring in a wider audience for my other books. Am losing patience, however. One company has had it since April and the other hasn't returned/acknowledged my query. If I hear nothing from either by Christmas, I'm going to self-publish it and not keep readers waiting any longer.
Hmmm...three books released in three months? I'd better get writing!