Tuesday, 30 November 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

It's November 30th, the last day of NaNoWriMo, and I'm pleased to say that I broke the 50,000 word mark on Sunday evening. Boy, am I glad! After being really excited by my story back in those halcyon days at the start of the month, I rapidly grew bored with it. Doing my daily words became a chore, and I was finding that I was writing as much as I could, not to meet the target or because I couldn't stop myself, but because I wanted it over and done with.

We Should Be Heroes is set in Vertigo City, my fictional metropolis that has already spawned a steampunk serial, The First Tale, and a mini-serial, Quantum Steam Theory. I decided to move 130 years into "the future", putting Vertigo into a twilight world akin to 1940s noir. Superheroes stalked the streets of the city. Sadly they didn't do much with their powers and it turned into a detective story.

Now, I'm proud of myself for having written another novel, and in the process I've found out a lot more about my characters. Two of them are actually from the steampunk era (there is a reason why they're still around over a century later) and they've given me a lot more back story through We Should Be Heroes. The problem is, I don't really want to use the novel as part of the Vertigo City universe.

There are three major problems with it. I could probably fix them, if I wanted to, but right now I don't. I want to focus on other things (an announcement about one of them is coming soon). The first problem was that I'd written myself into a hole by choosing to write it in first person present tense, which was annoying as secondary characters had far more interesting things to say. The second problem is linked with this, in that I couldn't maintain the "voice" of my main character beyond the opening scenes.

The third problem is perhaps the biggest, since no amount of rewrites would solve it. Basically...I don't like writing noir. There. I said it. The steampunk tales are like adventures stories, and they've a lot more fun to write. Liss gets to shoot things (or beat people up) and the automatons get more to do. Vertigo City is a more interesting place to write when it's a spiritual descendant of Victorian London, as opposed to 1940s New York.

So while I'm proud of myself for having written it, I'm not going to use it. I'll be keeping Vertigo City for my steampunk work, so there will be more adventures from Liss and the gang over the coming months. Just not any superheroes.

8 comments:

Jen Brubacher said...

I'm glad you learned a lot from this NaNo. I've had miserable Novembers before where I don't feel like I learned much, and that's just so much worse. This sounds really good, despite not using it in the future. So well done!

isabeljoelyblack said...

Congratulations on finishing, and for keeping going despite the issues you've had with it. Some people would've given up.

It sounds like you've gained a lot of knowledge, so you know where to focus now. Well done!

Carrie said...

Proud of you Ice. You did it.

Sam said...

Huge congrats for finishing NaNo. Irrespective of what you're going to do with it, or not, I have immense respect for anyone capable of writing 50k words in a month; I couldn't do it. I also enjoyed reading about what you've elarned from the process, I'd never really thought about NaNo from that point of view before. Anyhow, I'm waffling so...congrats again!

Icy Sedgwick said...

Jen - I think I had to try and take something from it. And no writing is ever REALLY wasted. You never know, it might wind up becoming a screenplay or a graphic novel (it's quite dialogue heavy, which is a new thing for me)

Isabel - Haha, I'm SO stubborn. It became a grudge match in the end and I'm proud to say I won!

Carrie - Thank you ^_^ Now I can write my ghost stories at my own pace!

Sam - It's a mental idea but it is good to spur you on to write. Then again, serials do the same thing so it's all swings and roundabouts, really...

afullnessinbrevity said...

Congratulations on finishing, Icy. I'm yet to take the plunge to actually write a novel, so I am in awe of those who have. Sounds like you've learned heaps.
Adam B @revhappiness

Laura Eno said...

Congrats! It's always good to learn things about your own writing as you go along.

Nomar Knight said...

Congratulations. Although you're not going to seek publication for your extraordinary effort, you discovered valuable information for your future projects. You have to love the lessons learned. :-)

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