My project this year for Nation Novel Writing Month is my most ambitious to date.
The Novel: one space opera, in the same setting I used last. Four POVs: hero, heroine, hero’s brother, and main antagonist. Target Length: 90000 to 100000 words. This is about 20000 to 30000 words longer than any project that I have ever completed, and roughly double the length of most of my published works.
Prep Work: I am using some “beatsheet” resources to help in the outlining process this time. Probably the most complicated and most useful part was sitting down and working out a rough estimate of how long my scenes usually run, and how many there would be in a 100000 novel. I am mostly done with the rough scene-by-scene outline. I have assigned mundane dictation nicknames to every character I could think of. The mad scientist, for instance, is Nick, after Nikolai Tesla; the furry alien pets/K-9 units are Fido and Fifi.
Procedure: write 1500-2500 words at home, using dictation sessions, alternating with periods of cleanup editing on keyboard. Write the rest of the daily wordcount on breaks at work, probably mostly on keyboard, although phone dictation outdoors is also a possibility. I am considering writing the supporting characters’ scenes at work (main antagonist and hero’s brother) because their take on events is different enough from the protagonists’ to where I don’t necessarily need to have the main manuscript in front of me to write the supporting characters’ scenes. We’ll see how that goes. Phone plus portable keyboard is also an option, for those times when I’m on the go.
Additional Complications: A four day road trip from November 8 to November 11 with family members to visit my grandmother. On the plus side, I’m not the one driving. I also have a complicated project at work coming up that may or may not last into November. If it does, that might interfere with me writing at work on breaks.