It’s getting to be that time of year, with National Novel Writing Month only a few weeks away. Last year’s NaNo project turned out to be one of those experimental attempts that don’t produce a complete story, or even something I managed to turn into one.
This isn’t that unusual for me. To give you some numbers here, I have completed NaNoWriMo 13 times, in the sense of writing 50000 words on a chosen project. Of those 13 projects, 4 did not reach the stage of being completed stories with a beginning, middle and end, and of the 9 which did reach that stage, only 4 were interesting enough to convince me to self-publish them: Marrying a Monster, Loving a Deathseer, Slaying a Tyrant (on preorder now), and Seeking a Quantum Tree (still on the to-do list).
Waking the Dreamlost, Saving a Queen (on preorder now), and Scapegoating a Hero (in progress) were written “out of season,” over the course of several months: 3-4 months for Dreamlost, 4.5 months for Queen, and 14 months for Hero. Additionally, over the past decade and a half, I’ve written another 3 stories “out of season,” ranging in length from 42000 to 60000 words, that qualified as complete with a beginning, middle and end, but which I do not plan to publish. This does not count the many projects attempted out of season and abandoned after a chapter or two.
All this is a normal part of the writing process for many authors. I’ve learned a lot from the projects I didn’t finish, or didn’t intend to publish, and I don’t regret attempting them. Next week, I plan to talk more about my plans for this year’s NaNoWriMo.