Last November, I undertook what was and still is the most intense month of writing I've ever had in my life. National Novel Writing Month-- fifty-thousand words of a novel cranked out in thirty days. This was the beginning of the biggest project I've ever started--an epic fantasy novel in every sense of the word. Long, detailed, full of strange new sights and sounds and dozens of characters, all of which have to be living, breathing people. It's been quite the challenge. To Look Skyward. NaNoWriMo taught me to write every day consistently. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of breaking that consistency and taking a break from writing. That killed any momentum I had and made it increasingly difficult as the months wore on to get back into the story. Now it's June and I have a total of 58,000 words. Yeah, that's right. I wrote 8,000 words in six months.
But I am not giving up. I still have a vision for this novel, and I still have the motivation to finish it. And I plan to have the rest of the novel finished by the end of the summer. I have no idea how I'm going to make that work, especially seeing that it's now June and I haven't written a bit since the semester ended, but I have confidence that I can do it somehow. That means, however, that the rest of the summer is a big ol' honking hundred-thousand plus word NaNoWriMo for me. But hey, I did it before, I can do it again. If I write the same amount every day that I wrote for NaNoWriMo, I'll be right on track. The problem is, I have to do that for three months instead of one.
To get back into the swing of things, I am first going through each of my already written chapters and editing, revising, and polishing based on comments I've already received on the novel. I already know that there are several chapters that need significant work done on them. I'm hoping that as I edit, I'll get my head space back into the world and the characters so that I'm ready to go full steam ahead with new chapters once I finish my edits.
For those of you who don't know about To Look Skyward, which is conceivably a lot of you reading this right now, I'll give you a quick synopsis:
In the world of Ilend, there is a massive city built on and between two mountain ridges. In this city, named Argosson, the upper (literally) class oppresses the lower class, and through a magic that allows mind control based on elevation, has forced the lower class into virtual slavery. We follow the journey of three people: Kirelon, a member of the Upper Class who fights for the rights of the lowborn, Danas, a lowborn who has a plan to take over the city, and Ilendia, a young girl who has an unusual friend, and though caught up in events beyond her control, wishes she could ignore the world and write her book.
If that sounds interesting to you, well be joyous! Over the next several weeks, I'll be posting revised chapters from the book for y'all to enjoy. If you wanted to read them and give me some feedback on what you thought (your reactions to the events of the chapter and any emotions you felt while reading, mostly), I'd much appreciate it! One of the things that a writer loves to hear is lots of feedback on something they've written--good, substantive criticism and encouragement. It is rather discouraging to get a "that was good" and nothing else. Especially in this stage of the writing, when it's nowhere near the finished product.
If any of you would like to be a part of the critiquing process before I get around to posting the chapters on the website, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! I'd love to send you a link to the Google Doc of chapters as I revise them and let you use the comment feature to give me some feedback.
Thanks again for reading this blog and being interested in what a silly young adult is passionate about. I appreciate it so very much. Oh, and happy Monday to all of you!