"If you understand the basic elements of crafting fiction, craft will help you find your way when you are lost in your story."
-M. Todd Gallowglas
First, the above quote is from author and bardic storyteller Michael Todd Gallowglas. I met him at WorldCon in Reno this past August (for tales from my Reno adventures, take a look through my blog archive). He's been seeing some success with independent publishing and often has insightful things to say about the writing life on his blog.
Speaking of which, today he talked about "Why I Write," which is a question many of us authors have either asked ourselves or else been asked before. Like I said, some thought-provoking insights. So I encourage you to take a look at it and see what he has to say. While you're there, you can also find links to his works on Amazon. I haven't had a chance to read through it yet myself, but I've bought it and it's on my list and it all looks like some fun stuff. So go ahead and give him a look.
On my own side of things, I can now make my big, exciting announcement.
Above, you will notice the new "Writings" tab, if you haven't already. If you were to click on this "Writings" tab, you would find some things there (as opposed to earlier this week, when you would've found that it was "under construction").
Long story short, the basics are this: I've decided to share my NaNoWriMo novels with you, my friends, family, and readers (yes, the rest of the internet is included as well, but I don't think they particularly care).
This is something I've been talking about doing for about a week now, and I've been thinking about for even longer.
Truth is, I've felt kind of silly, thus far, talking about my writing and the writing of others, offering advice in direct and indirect ways, without having anything to show for my efforts. Obviously, this is because I don't really have much of anything published. Nor do I have much "finished."
Now, there are several arguments for and against the idea of sharing your work online, both as you go as well as in the form of a finished project. Most agree it's a bad marketing decision, but I digress a bit. Point is, I would not feel comfortable sharing my original, unpublished fiction for a number of well-argued reasons.
However, I do have NaNoWriMo.
I've spoken before about how NaNo is kind of a "break" for me from the work I do during the rest of the year. These past two years, I've been writing a lot. Certainly more than I've ever done before. I hope to continue this trend, but I've noticed that it has a tendency to burn me out if I don't pace myself effectively. NaNo has become a part of that pacing.
I have resolved to have fun with NaNo. To enjoy it and allow it to be a release. How am I doing this? Well, if I haven't mentioned it before, I do so by writing things purely "for fun." Things that I don't need to feel pressure to improve. Things like fan fiction. :)
Obviously, it's still a lot of work and eats up a lot of my time. Obviously, I enjoy my writing throughout the year. Obviously. But this is a useful time for my brain to decompress, it can focus on story and character and various aspects of craft that I've been wanting to examine for a while (this year it's structure, as I'm sure you can tell), instead of expending additional energy on worldbuilding and market considerations and theme (oh, theme!)
Veering back on topic.
What this means for you, readers, is that I have no qualms about sharing these books with you. With a few caveats. Understand, please, that these are still in their raw form. I have likely not looked at them since I wrote them. I certainly have not edited them in any way shape or form. In addition, my craftsmanship improves by leaps and bounds each year, and I can already tell you that this year's novel is going to be worlds better than last year's. It's just a fact of this job.
So, if you can forgive me some typos, dropped character arcs, and gaping plot holes, we can have a lot of fun with this.
If not, well, I guess you'll have to wait until I get something published for reals.
Until then, the rest of you, enjoy!
NaNoWriMo 2011 Progress
Today: 2,593/1,666 words.
So Far: 16,859/15,000 words.
Total: 16,859/50,000 words.