NaNoWriMo 2016, the Aftermath

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner

It seems that every November the same thing happens to me. With a total of 58,066 words, I won NaNoWriMo on November 17th. I was doing 5,000 or 6,000 words on a daily basis and having a hell of a time. Then I crossed the finish line, finished the chapter I was on and promptly slowed waaaaaaaaaay down.

This is almost exactly what happened to me when I was writing the first draft of Escape a couple of years back. I wrote until I was at the brink of sanity and then just stopped. I’m still writing it and still enjoying it but I’ve kind of slowed down.

In any case, I won. I’m glad I did it, as always, and I’m planning on putting this crazy amount of effort into another project that just sort of occurred to me today while I was at work listening to an interminable amount of Christmas music. It’s going to take a lot of effort and some research, and there’s no way I’ll be able to hold off until April and Camo NaNoWriMo but I’m excited about it!

Thanks to Hamilton, I suddenly hear the chorus singing “how do you write like tomorrow won’t arrive? How do you write like you need it to survive? How do you write every second you’re alive, every second you’re alive, every second you’re alive?”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is both a terrible and wonderful human being.

Indecision!

Hovering back and forth between putting Escape up for free or hanging onto it until I can publish it. I really enjoy serializing Drowned History but I feel like I would be losing money by giving it away for free and then just hoping that people would buy the collected bits as a book. I may gain readers but there’s no guarantee of that.

Maybe I’ll just put excerpts of it up here and tease it that way, or maybe put excerpts up here and short backstory pieces on Wattpad. Just thinking out loud here, really. I want to keep people updated on what I have started referring to on Twitter as #EscapeRedux so people can mute the hashtag if they want.

As for the project itself, it’s moving forward. I got the outline for the first part finished and am almost through with the second. Once I get through with the third I will probably take a week off and then start on the first book. Or part. I still haven’t decided how I’m going with this. It’s going to be a little large for one book but I feel like the second book won’t be as interesting and people won’t buy it, which means they won’t buy the third and miss the grand finale. Basically I’m going to try and write the whole thing at one time and decide whether or not I’m breaking it up later.

This is all terribly exciting, I know, and I’m going to try and update as much as possible. If you want to get more updates, cat pictures, and screenshots from my epic victories on Love Live, follow me on Twitter. There’s also a fair amount of family stuff and lots of vague talk about my work that doesn’t quite qualify as subtweeting. Oh, and retweets about cat stuff. If a friend of mine is talking about their cat licking the floor or eating a bee, you can bet I’m retweeting that.

Back Again For the First Time

So I decided that if I’m going to make any kind of an online presence for myself I should probably set up a Goodreads page. I’ve always had one but I’ve never done much with it. Imagine my surprise when I went on and discovered that I have reviews!

Sadly, no one likes Minor Side Effects much. I can’t make myself be too terribly concerned about it because it was originally a Livejournal project that was just for fun while I kept myself writing every day. My skills have definitely leveled up since then, judging by the good ratings for Plans both on Goodreads and Amazon.

Something interesting I had heard about Goodreads through writer friends was that you can do book giveaways through them. I just so happen to have restocked myself with hard copies when I did a book trade with Jennifer Foehner Wells, so I may do that this week. I’ll be sure and post a link to the giveaway as soon as I have one!

Work continues on Escape. I finished the outline for part one last night, and it came out to being 17 pages long. Yeah, breaking it up into three parts was definitely a good choice. I started the outline for part two last night also. I think I’m going to get the whole outline done before I start writing because I want to make sure I’ve got all the things in the right places first. I don’t want to retcon. I hate retconning. This is why I had such a hard time with The Lost World.

I also found about fifteen pages of a story that could easily be worked into a book in the same universe as the Escape ones, and about the same size. If I get working on it and release one book a year, I’ll have four years worth of books in the can just in case life blindsides me. Again.

One last thing about Goodreads for now. I plan on going back through my recent readings and doing small reviews of them, so if you’re a friend and suddenly get slammed with reviews from me, I’m sorry. I read quite a bit more than my past performance would have you believe.

If you’re interested, my Goodreads page is here: http://www.goodreads.com/Natalie_Smothers

Out Of Control

Well, it looks like I’ve got a project that’s escaping (ha ha) me.

A couple of years ago – in 2013 to be exact – I wrote part of a story called Escape for NaNoWriMo. I hit 50K with it in spite of a lot of stuff going on in my life, but because of all the stuff I kind of forgot to validate it so it’s not an OFFICIAL win. Still, I wrote the big five-oh and did a little butt dance in my room. The only problem was that it wasn’t even close to being finished.

Flash forward to earlier this month when I decided to merge two Wattpad accounts. I have about 10 weeks worth of Drowned History left to publish and decided I was going to start updating Escape so that it could be my next online project.

To quote Sublime, that’s when things got out of control.

I decided to work on an outline that would incorporate both the old and new stuff. Needing more background on characters led me to work on character sheets, which then ended up being about four pages long each. Now I’m working on a synopsis to go before the outline.

I was considering just self-pubbing this story once I get through with it but it’s kind of looking like it’s going to be a beast, so I decided I was going to break it into three. I even figured out natural break points between books. Then I remembered ANOTHER story I had partially written that could be in this same universe. Like I said, out of control.

Then there’s the issue that I have no idea what genre to even call this story. It’s got spaceships but it’s not really sci-fi. It’s got dystopian elements but I think people would be disappointed if I advertised it as that. There’s also a very weird “romance” that’s actually almost platonic. Really it’s just about the people trying to escape shitty circumstances in a variety of ways and I don’t have a clue how to describe it.

So I’m working on this story and trying to come up with an idea for a trilogy or series name (you need one of those, right?) and it’s all kind of giving me choice paralysis. I still plan on putting it up while I’m writing it because without a genre audience I doubt anyone would publish it, but it’s starting to eat my life and I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not. I still need to start editing The Weather.