December 21, 2022

Everything Old Is Novel Again

I spent all of this year working on a novel. For my life in general, this is unremarkable, but that wasn't how I spent 2020 or 2021, and the return to full-time noveling has been a welcome development. I'm pleased with what I accomplished this year, and I'm especially glad to have found my way back into a comfortable writing groove.

The first ten months of 2022 were all research and planning, in slow preparation for expanding last fall's hastily conceived and written NaNoWriMo draft. I didn't allocate all those months as effectively as I might have, but I did work consistently, and certain aspects of the story and its world gradually became clearer.

In mid-October, with the start of NaNoWriMo coming around again and providing the pressure of an external deadline, I turned the year's ideas into an index card outline. That gave me enough of a structure that I was able to begin a new draft on November 1, and I've been writing every day since then.

In November, I passed my personal 25,000 word goal and ended the month with 30k words. I was afraid I might lose momentum once the mass writing challenge was over, but I've been setting myself weekly word count goals that provide sufficient motivation. Today I hit the 50k word milestone. That gets me to approximately the midpoint of the outline, which is where I want to be, because the goal is not merely to accumulate words but to make progress through the chapters so I end up with a story-shaped draft of a manageable size.

I wrote at least a bit every single day of November, and of December so far, and that's been helpful in sustaining my progress. I'm ready for a break now, but I'll try to not completely lose contact with the story while I take some time to relax and recharge. In January, I want to pick up where I left off and keep writing until I reach the end. Then there will inevitably be more planning, and more drafts, in the now-familiar cycle of my life.

As the seasons turn once again back toward brighter days, I wish you all a happy novel year!

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Silvia Moreno-Garcia, writing for the New York Times, examines how the term "magic realism" is overused and why it matters: "Magic realism once referred to the literary style of a loosely connected group of Latin American authors who penned works some 60 years ago, but in the English-speaking world, the term has become synonymous with Latin American writing in general. Picture every work by a British writer being called 'Austenesque' today, and you get an idea of this phenomenon."

No comments:

Post a Comment