Sunday, April 22, 2012

I finished another novel and what a ride it was

I think these kinds of posts are my favorites. They are the kind where I sit back, scroll through my blog, and see what it took to write this specific novel. And this one, wow, there were a lot of ups and downs.

TWCS is a NaNoWriMo novel. I wrote the first 54 000 words last year November, and when I think back at the experience, I don't have the fondest memories. Don't get me wrong, I love NaNo and will do it again this year, it's just how I wrote this novel that messed with my head. Why won't I repeat that specific way of doing it?

I tried plotting. What a disaster that turned out. I even blogged about it. If you're curious to know why I won't try plotting again for a long time, I blogged about how NaNo confirmed my pantserness . Long story short: I tried the nine-grid plan and plotted the novel from start to finish. Knowing what would happen depressed me so much that I didn't even want to finish it. I wrote a short note to my outline:  Outline, you’re dead to me. You depress me, and I’m a little jealous that you work so well for other people. But I don’t think this thing we tried is going to work. At least we can say that we did give it a shot. Trust me, we’re better off without each other.
I tore up my outline and pantsed until I hit 54k.

Then I hit another road block, one I didn't see coming. I killed two characters I really liked and it depressed me so much that I didn't want to continue. It was a good excuse for me to take a break from it and get back to work on Denizens. I still added a few words to TWCS every now and then, and that finally made me get over the worst of my sad. 

I finished TWCS last week and it's such a relief. I chatted to a few writer friends and what we talking about, kissing, killing, and falling over dead bodies, finally motivated me to finish the novel.  At the end of the day it took me about five months to complete it. Usually I can pound out a novel in about three months if I keep a steady, no-rush pace. My intended word count was 73k but currently it's standing at 80k. Yeah, way more than I'd anticipated.

I've also finished first draft paper rewrites on TWCS. I'm surprised that I didn't have to make as many major changes as I thought I would, but I'm not complaining. If I can get this novel ready before I start seeing everything wrong with it, what I'm currently experiencing with Denizens, I'd be the happiest damn camper ever.

You guys, this novel is special. Not the kind of special that all my novels are, this is a different kind of special. I don't know how to explain it so I won't even try. But I know some of you understand that.

Since this novel has been giving me a lot of ups and downs, I'm also approaching getting it ready a bit different.  I've sent the first two chapters to three of my CPs and one reader to get their thoughts on it, just to make sure there's nothing major wrong with it. I've already heard back from three of them and the word is good. There's the usual CP question and critiques, but it's all small things that I can fix with one or two sentences. It makes me hopeful for where this novel is going. And I love that what makes my novel Urban Fantasy isn't something you've read before. At least I hope you haven't. Don't ask, I'm not telling. Maybe I'll enter a few contests when this novel is done and I won't have a choice but to reveal what's going on ;) Who knows... Until then, feel free to check out my Pinterest board for this novel: TWCS. I've finally found a photo of somebody that would make a perfect love interest. Such a pretty, pretty boy.

Right now, I'm diving back into edits for Denizens. It's almost done. I might even think about querying it. Might. I'm still deciding.

Hope all of you are doing well.


  1. Woot!
    I'm reading those first two chapters right now!
    I'm so glad for you, Jani ;)

  2. Go you!! I'm excited that this one is that certain kind of special for you. :) Wishing you the best.

  3. Congratulations! I don't know about you, but every time I finish a novel, I don't get excited...I get depressed. Lol! I always hate getting past the "anything goes" point of a story when I have to start getting serious about it.

    I had the same problem with plotting on one of my previous NaNo novels. I outlined the whole thing and then couldn't bring myself to write it when November rolled around. I've found a happy medium of outlining the major plot points and then writing down the scenes that come to me and leaving it at that. The rest will fill itself in as I go.