rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
The advice is always to leave your NaNoWriMo manuscript a while and come to it with a fresh eye, possibly in January. Well, it's been longer than that for me, but I finally seem ready to look at it -- it's only the second time I've felt compelled to come back to a story, really, and try to edit it, so that's probably a very good sign. The first time was in my first year of participating, and it came to nothing, but I have hopes this time.

I'm not sure how much of the actual writing I'll keep, but it definitely helped me get to know my characters. Right now, oddly enough, I have a lot of affection for my version of Bedwyr. I mean, I like him as a man. He's extremely close to Cai, and he balances Cai in many ways, and is good for Cai. (Who is rather more the Welsh version than the French: hot-tempered, but not deliberately malicious.) He 'told me' early in the process that he was one-handed, and that turned out to be somewhat plot-relevant, so I can't really tell you about it.

Vivienne is also involving herself much more than I expected. Which makes sense, as she'll become more prominent in the later 'books', as I have it planned. As long as she stops flirting with Gawain. (Characters. What can you do?)

At the moment, there's basically six 'books'. I have no idea how long they're going to be, though. I felt like I was stretching the first book, when I was writing it for NaNoWriMo, even at 50,000 words, which is considered short. I think I'll just see how it naturally falls, plus I'll expect words to be added during editing -- my style tends toward the sparse, without work. Since I'm planning to make them into ebooks myself, not try to sell the stories to a publisher, I think it'll be much less of an issue than it might seem, as long as the pricing is fair. And it will be, since I'm still not sure I'll charge anything at all.

Anyway, I'm very happy to be back to work again, and to have my 980 words of planning and structure as well as my messy, potentially hopeless first draft. It's a beginning.

I really need a title, though.
rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
It's been a while since I updated you all about NaNoWriMo. I kind of burnt out on it -- I've been writing rubbish for the past few days, just to get it done, for my own stubbornness. I haven't really been interested in updating people about it, because it's, like I said, rubbish.

That's not to say I haven't got anything out of NaNoWriMo. I have, but for some years I've been somewhat burnt out by the whole phenomenon -- the very first novel I wrote for it, Shadow, was glorious. I wrote and explored a whole story, without getting caught up in whether it was good or bad. The same in the couple of years after that. Since then, though, it's become too much of a personal competition with myself: can I finish earlier than before? Can I write two novels in the time? Can I write a good novel?

I'm not sure what I can do about that, other than take some time away from NaNoWriMo. A part of me would hate to do that -- I've participated and won every year since 2004! -- but another part of me thinks it may be the only sensible thing to do. I've stopped taking joy in it.

The experience is very valuable in some ways: getting you to sit down and write every day, getting you to write without second guessing, getting you to throw yourself into it whole-hearted. And even for me, this time, it's helped me get to know my characters, and the story, and helped me to listen to my characters and what they want/need to do.

I'm just not sure NaNoWriMo is what I need, now. I'll have to give the matter some thought, over the next year!

I do want to keep dealing with this novel, so now I have to navigate an editing process, which I think will largely be rewriting almost from scratch. I might try the 'two pages a day' sort of method. I'll probably start work on that in January -- I have some short stories to be writing, through December.

Day Three

Nov. 3rd, 2010 11:57 pm
rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
Today, I procrastinated a lot, did a lot of laundry (how do I wear so much?!), and eventually eked out the required word count... most of which will be cut in editing. I'm still feeling my way into the story, so I'm not unduly worried, and all of this is useful for that.

I've learnt a lot about Cai and Bedwyr, over the last few days. So far, it's been the minor characters that interest me most, which is interesting, given that Gawain is normally my main focus. It's probably a good sign that I love my subplots this much, in any case, and it's all relevant going forward into the potential other books (if I write the whole series, there will be five of them).

I always find myself wondering how much to tell people. Like the ultimate gossip, I know who all my characters are dating, but my POV character doesn't. If I don't tell you, you might figure it out for yourself, and that's awfully fun. On the other hand, you might not, and then you wouldn't know that there's an epic love affair going on behind the scenes. It reminds me of Rowling's pronouncement that Dumbledore was gay -- I didn't hallucinate that, right? -- I know who my characters are doing, but is it fair to give word of God on something that isn't actually included in the text?

For example, since I've mentioned it already, in a way: I'm pretty sure Gaheris is asexual. He just is, and he won't say so at any point in the text. I don't think he's even aware of the concept, he just knows he doesn't want a wife or any kind of lover. He's got more important things to do. As a reader myself, though, I don't really want the author stepping in and saying things are this way or that way: I have my own understanding of the characters. If I were reading it, maybe I'd desperately want to see Gaheris kidnap his brother's wife and marry her, or something. Or maybe I'd be pissed about the lack of the traditional wife and quest for him -- Enide, and his quest to prove himself a valuable knight even as a married man -- and want to write her in myself. In any case, I'd have my own ideas.

I think I've answered my own question, haven't I?

(But as a writer, I want to tell you!)


rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
Rhian Crockett

August 2013



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios