Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011 - Day 29

Way, kitty. I'm finished.
Well. That's that. My NaNoWriMo adventure comes to a close. Sorry I've been quiet for the past week. Between the holiday and the traveling and the trying-to-get-the-book-done, I've been a bit busy. I would have liked to offer my insights on the last leg of the project, but... well, it just didn't happen.

Wow, though. This feels good.

You may or may not know this, but Sentinel is only the third book that I've managed to type "The End" on (and I'm going to type "The End" on all my books, it just feels too good to pass up).

The first was "Runic." It's a dismal little book, honestly. Clocking in at around 30,000 words, it doesn't even qualify as a novel. It's filled with undeveloped plot and a number of completely skipped scenes (seriously, the whole second act doesn't even exist. I have build up. Then I cut to the final moments before the climax. No development.) Plus, I've come to find out, it's really just the first half of a a much larger story than I had set out to tell.

The second was last year's NaNoWriMo -- "Declaration." I really like this one, as it plays with a lot of really interesting character and setting ideas from Star Wars that we don't ever get to see. I think the premise is solid and parts of the execution are handled pretty well. But, similar to "Runic," I didn't pace it effectively. So we've got a first act, and then we've got some second act, and then we were nearing the end of the month and I was like, "Holy time crunch, Batman, I've got to put in the big action sequence finale that I've been waiting to write this entire time!" So I did. I rushed through the character arc to completely turn my protagonist around so everything would be in position for the big action sequence. Clumsy, I know, but worth it. (It's been a while since I read it, but that action sequence is one of my favorite things I've ever written. So much geeking out on my part.) I'll try to get that book up soon, much as I have "Sentinel" up now.

Speaking of which, that brings us to "Sentinel," my third and final (so far) finished novel.

I'm really quite proud of this one. The structure approach I used worked out so well that I'm thinking of applying it to my upcoming writing projects as a way of just hammering out a rough draft. I can play with form after that.

Obviously, this book has some flaws. There are a handful of dropped and/or underdeveloped plotlines and characters. I'm worried that a lot of it is just "go here, talk about this, go there, talk about that, oh look, we're at the end," and I have a sneaking suspicion that the character depiction/development is just a little bit all over the map, but those are the kinds of doubts that develop in a writer when they look back on a project. (Well, at least for me.)

All that being said, I'm still really proud of it. And I hope some (all?) of you read it and share your thoughts in the comments section as you read along. I'm really looking forward to hearing what you all think of it.

For now, though, it's time for me to start getting ready for my next big project. You'll hear about that on Thursday.

Until then...
-josh k.

NaNoWriMo 2011 Progress
Today: 5,831/1,666 words.
So far: 52,907/48,333 words.
Total: 52,907/50,000 words.

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