From a Certain Point of View…

So, NaNoWriMo2021…not a success in terms of wordcount. It looks like I will finish the month around or slightly under 18,000 words, the lowest results for any NaNo I have attempted. However, I did have a helpful insight yesterday in terms of what I was working on.

I found Star Master Book 3 the most difficult to focus on of the three story ideas I had planned. I wrote slightly more of it than I did of Thorn Master, I think, but it took me a lot longer to get around to even touching it as part of NaNoWriMo2021. It is true that I was kind of burned out after more or less finishing the rough draft of Star Master Book 2 in mid-October 2021, and for a long time, I assumed that was the problem.

Last night I realized, that there was no Star Master Book 3, that I only had enough plot for a duology. Earlier in the month, I’d read a comment by an author somewhere (if you’re out there reading this, I apologize for forgetting your name and the context) to the effect that “Alot of times writer’s block happens because the part you can’t bring yourself to write…doesn’t need to be part of the story in the first place, and you need to figure out what needs to be there instead.”

I’d been skeptical when I read that, because I am not the world’s most driven writer, and it takes a certain amount of mental self-prodding to get anything written, and I’d always assumed writer’s block just needed more prodding of the author, by the author.

But then I remembered NaNoWriMo2017, when I started what would become Saving a Queen in the wrong place. In its final form, most of that book takes place after the Bird-Queen’s city falls to a siege, and is about her staying one step ahead of her enemies. What I wrote in 2017 was 30000+ words (IIRC) about the start of that siege and the events leading up to it. It was boring, grim, and claustrophobic. I realized that I didn’t care that much about anyone but the Queen herself, her eventual love interest, and the love interest’s balloon/airship craft, so I spent the rest of NaNoWriMo writing a lengthy outline of the Queen’s escape from the city at the end of the siege, and the events following that. Then I knocked off a few more thousand words trying on different space opera ideas, and that’s how I got my 50K done in 2017. I then wrote the actual Saving a Queen over the course of four months or so in 2018.

I was…slower on the uptake this year, or I would have figured this out sooner, maybe focused on writing the new ending to Book 2 I needed, maybe tried on some new ideas to write after Star Master. Hence the 18Kish results.

Anyway, short term writing plans. I need to:

-alter and expand the last quarter of Star Master Book 2 to incorporate my planned ending for Book 3,

-write some character moments that I had in mind for Book 3,

-finish a few other loose ends left dangling in the Book 2 rough draft,

-and then start polishing.

Star Master Book 2 is almost certainly going to break my existing records for longest time in rough draft (Saving a Queen took 4+ months, Star Master Book 1 took 11 and a half, Scapegoating a Hero took 14ish). My current rough target for publication of Star Master Book 2 is sometime in May-June 2022. May 4 would be fun for the Star Wars connection, but Memorial Weekend looks more doable. If I don’t have it ready to go by the end of June/start of July 2022, I may launch it around Christmas 2022 instead.

What comes after? I don’t know. I have a smattering of high fantasy ideas (inspired by the usual suspects like Tolkien, anime, and cowboy movies), and gaslamp fantasy ideas which owe a bit to the stuff I’ve been watching on MHZ and a bit to the zillion clips from Jane Austen adaptations I’ve been seeing on youtube. (because once you watch a few, youtube starts suggesting more…) Who will emerge victorious from the Thunderdome of Brainstorming, and maybe get turned into actual words a year from now, in NaNoWriMo2022? I don’t know yet. We’ll see.

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