I did it again. I turned most of my blogging time into writing-the-novel time.
Which, really, is a great thing to do. But it also totally knocks my blogging schedule off kilter and then I forget to blog… and forget to blog… and then don’t want to blog because it’s been so long. So, I’m setting up a new, smaller blogging schedule to finish out July and then everything changes for August and then it’ll go back to this blogging schedule in September. Ready for it?
Mondays: about writing. Through August, I have to keep updating y’all once a week about my novel and meeting my writing goals (so not happening!) this summer. This’ll happen on Mondays. In September, Mondays will still be about writing but I’ll probably mix it up a little and stop talking about myself so much.
Wednesdays: ask the reader. I still really loved this in May, and I am determined to make this a regular feature on the blog. I like asking you guys writing questions, and I love your answers and the discussions in the comments. It’s super fun.
Special features, as necessary — I know of several coming up, but obviously I’m not going to spoil them. But there are special features to come.
In August, I am doing two things: VEDA and Camp NaNoWriMo.
VEDA, for those that don’t know, is Vlog Every Day in August. I do have a YouTube channel, and last year Kenzie (my little sister) and I did a VED in March, and this year we thought we should do it again, and finally agreed to just do it in an actual VED month, August. So, in August, this blog will be hosting my vlog. I’ll post the daily videos here, and you have a whole month of not reading much of anything here!
Camp NaNoWriMo is just an extension of National Novel Writing Month, held in August and with a special summer camp theme. It’s totally fun, and the same rules apply, but I like using Camp NaNo to be a rebel and break those rules. Sort of. This year, I will be aiming for the 50k word count goal by the end of the month, but I won’t be declaring myself a winner if I break the threshold. Why? Because I’m using Camp NaNo to focus on #thatghoststory and as a last super push this summer to meet some of my writing goals.
But finally, for the Monday post topic — my Noveling through Summer update of the week:
Last week didn’t suck like the week before last. Two weeks ago, for which I did not post an NtS update, I wrote nothing. I did a whole ton of mental writing, though, and realized pretty early in the week that my first chapter should definitely not be my first chapter. I needed a way to build up my urban paranormal world that wasn’t just exposition and dialogue; I needed action bad, and I needed that action to do a lot of the building for me. I needed to put some trust in any reader right up front, and believe that (a) readers can connect dots because (b) eventually through revision and patience and trust I would write dots that were obviously meant to be connected.
It may seem obvious to you that exposition and dialogue is not the only way of creating an interesting world — but the thing about my narrator is that she wants to over-explain things to people. She’s got some trust issues, and those issues make appearances in her need to explain how her world functions, including to the people in it. Where it might seem like this gives me some freedom to have Vera just explain everything, as she wants to do, it’s not something I can actually let her do most of the time. No one likes to have things explained to them that they already understand — it’s kind of insulting — and so rarely do Vera’s friends and co-workers and acquaintences actually let her talk. Which lead to my revelation of needing action, along with some frequently cut-off expository dialogue, to do most of my world building.
Basically, I learned something important this week: world building sucks.
My story takes place in a city — a real, live city! — and mostly I figured that would help me out a lot when it came to setting. But the thing is, setting is completely different from “world.” In my setting, sure, I know where all the buildings are, and how to get from point A to point B, and how long commutes are, and how far out people will venture depending on where they live in the city. That’s easy. I lived in this city, and I know it well. But in my world, there are ghosts and there are secret agencies and there are protocols and procedures and a hundred other things that operate below the surface of the city. Those are the things I have to build, and it’s tricky to weave a secret underbelly of ghost activity into a place I know so well.
This week, I’m continuing to move forward through the novel. I have a new, completed first chapter that’s infinitely better (my critique partner, L, has assured me of this) and on the right track for development of, well, absolutely everything — world, character, setting, etc. This week, I’m going to rewrite the two chapters I had previously opening my novel so that the events and conversations logically follow from the new beginning. I’m still supposed to be writing 10 – 15 pages a week, and though I didn’t do any writing until Friday, I actually managed 11 pages between Friday and Saturday of last week. And thankfully, this week I should meet that goal, too, because I’m rewriting and restructuring something I know to already be beyond that goal. So a small win for me!