National Novel Writing Month has been a series of fitful stops and starts for me so far; right now I’m sitting at 28,000 words, and have about ten days left to write the rest. So I’m a few thousand words behind where I should be, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make up the deficit over Thanksgiving Break.
So far, writing the novel has been a process of discovery writing: I have no outline, so I’ve just been writing scenes as they occur to me. This has been both good and bad. On the good side, I’ve come up with some ideas that I probably wouldn’t have come up with otherwise, and for the most part, they’ve been ideas which flow naturally from the story instead of being forced onto said story. But there’s also been a lot of ideas which don’t work, and I’m still sort of searching for the main conflict. I have a few threads here and there, but nothing has really leaped out at me as being the primary overarching plotline of the book. So my novel writing thus far has been: write several thousand words over a couple of days, take a few days off because I’m not sure what happens next, then realize I’m falling behind and hurriedly write several thousand more words… rinse and repeat. We shall see if I actually make it to 50K, and whether I like the result enough that I end up writing a second draft.
In other news (which you probably already know if you follow my Twitter feed), one of my short stories, The Talisman of Hatra, got accepted into the Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations anthology! I’m really happy about this. The anthology is edited by Eric J. Guignard, and of the authors who will be represented, one is Joe R. Lansdale, who is one of the best-known horror and dark fiction writers around today. I’m honored to share a Table of Contents with him, as well as with the other authors, including a fellow member of my writing group, Folly Blaine. It comes out in March of next year– needless to say, I’ll post details when it’s available.