As some of you may already know, I have decided to take part in NaNoWriMo this year.
I decided to do this (my first time, in fact) since the timing of it was good. I already had the outline created for my new book, “The Eternals Game,” and figured, with the coincidental timing of it all, I may as well take part in the journey.
The story so far is going really well. I am just shy of 30,000 words overall and am currently on Chapter 18 (out of a planned 36), so I guess I am officially at the halfway mark, chapter wise. I think, in the end, it will have about 90,000 words total. Very respectable, I think, for a speculative fiction title.
One of my fellow authors posted a questionnaire about how the journey thus far is going, and I thought it might be interesting for all of you who follow me to know how it’s going.
With that in mind, here you go!
1. Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?
Mentally, I am doing just fine, if a bit frazzled. That, however, is not due to the novel or the writing process, but a matter of external things which have been happening around us lately.
The novel itself is flowing really well, a thing I am extremely grateful for. Sometimes, I have trouble when starting out a novel, and this one was no exception. But, once I got started, it’s been good.
2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Bear in mind, it’s raw…
The little boy stood, watching the sun edge above the horizon. With each degree it rose, the light reflected brighter from the tears dripping down his cheeks.
3. Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?
I think it would have to be Tris, the ghost of the sister of the main character. She has been a really intriguing part of the story, full of mystery and a background that is… ambiguous. A lot of fun to write from the perspective of a departed spirit.
4. What do you love about your novel so far?
I always have loved telling the stories of departed spirits and what they might be thinking on the other side. This book incorporates a lot of that in it, so it’s been a very interesting, if trying at times, book for me to write.
5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
I am a prolific typo-ist. I feel very sorry for my poor wife, who has to proofread everything.
6. What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Beginnings are, I think, the funnest part for me. I once met Stephen King, and he told me, when I asked him what the most important part of the story is, he told me the first sentence has to grab the reader or it’s done.
So I spend a lot of time crafting the perfect way to hook readers in from the very first word.
7. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best?
Music, for me, is probably one of the most important components when I write.
I set up massive playlists of music to write to, and while I like most genres of music overall, what I prefer to write to is things that are only or heavy on the instrumentals. This way, the words in the lyrics don’t interfere with or change the tone of what I am writing.
However, the music itself is important since it helps me to get into a flow, to disconnect from myself for a bit and just zen out to the music while the words spew out.
There’s no specific time i write. Instead, I go with when the inspiration or urge hits me to start going. That could be an hour after I wake, or a few hours before sleep.
That being said, I do set myself goals. I used to demand I write 1500 words per day when I have a project going, but, since I beat that almost every time, I have slowly increased it to 2000 words. I don’t punish myself if I do not reach it, but I do feel a little guilty.
I do think, though, my “best time” to write tends to be in the evening, after everyone else has already gone to sleep. Keeps the distractions to a minimum.
No specific snacks. I eat when I am hungry (or remember I haven’t eaten).
8. How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?
I do have someone proofread for me, because of my vision issues. That person is primarily my wife, Jolene, who has learned to speak my version of fluent typo.
I don’t need a cheer squad, per se, but I do enjoy sharing out things I have found cool or fun in the story without giving anything away.
9. What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?
I think my habit of 2000+ words per day has sort of trained me out of not writing when it gets hard. If I don’t hit that goal, I feel guilty, which helps to push me even when I don’t necessarily feel up to it.
I also heavily outline before starting to put words into the novel, which, I think, helps me to avoid any writers block, and helps push me each time I sit down to write.
Not to say it isn’t hard sometimes, but I’ve learned to work past it.
10. What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
Look through my site to find a lot of writing advice 😉
Seriously though, the three things I would say are really important to remember are:
- Don’t let your inner critic win. Write no matter what you feel like, because you will never have the “perfect time” to write. Just do it.
- The characters ARE the story. Always remember that.
- Be honest in your writing. Be bold, and don’t hold anything back. The world deserves your story.
That’s it folks!
I will update you more as time goes on. I’m really excited to bring you “The Eternals Game” and I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I am having writing it.
Don’t forget, my new book “Penitence” comes out on November 10!