Although NaNoWriMo finished last November when my cumulative word total was a mere 36,880, I wanted to post an update. Just because NaNoWriMo finished in 30 days didn’t mean that I stopped writing (nor should you if you did try the 30 day challenge). Plus writing something else definitely helps with the waiting (see my previous post on that subject).
At a current tally of 76,230 words, the new manuscript is shaping up to be something pretty cool, but then again I am biased. It’s still just a “shitty first draft” in Anne Lamott‘s eloquent words in Bird by Bird. That’s not to say that I’m not self-editing as I go. I find that writing this novel given what I’ve learned from the whole process of the first novel (still ongoing) is a lot different.
One, I am more aware of my target readership – have to keep in mind they’re young adults, and in my opinion, sophisticated young adults. As Krista Marino, Senior Editor of Knopf Doubleday Dell, says in an SCBWI article – Secrets of Voice and Plot: A Panel on YA Novels with Editors Krista Marino and Lexa Hillyer, “teens are not simple, and authors shouldn’t make teen characters simple.”
Two, I am more rigid with managing the number of points of view (learned that most publishers for young adult only like one or two).
Three, I am more aware of making sure my “world” has structure and believability which is critical for any reader, regardless of age.
Four, I am careful to build the action smartly and more aware of pacing.
So what’s this novel about? Well if I told you, I’d have to kill you. But when I get a little more confident, I’ll post a tidbit or two about it. Right now, it’s pretty much word vomit, although not the smelly kind which is a good thing.