Speaking of your icon...how many words is Jedi Nights? ;-)
126,000 or so.
And (I really shouldn't confess this, but here goes) I've actually been working on the sequel again.
And you will, of course, share that with us Old Timers when it is completed, correct? :-)
Well, of course. Good heavens.
Holy that's a lotta words.
How long've you been working on that?
I wrote the original novel in about 8 months. The sequel took off to some 65,000 words in about 3 months, then stalled for YEARS.
I started my first novel last October and finished it in August of this year. It's a little over 70,000 words, and each word after 35,000 was like pulling teeth on a six month old.
I've discovered that, on the whole, it's better to write about things that you DON'T have a huge emotional investment in, no matter how personally interesting or useful you think it might turn out to be. Haven't quite broken 1,000 words yet, and the main reason is because my topic is more painful than I expected. (My goal is 8K, rather than 50K, so I'm not as far behind as I would be, but am still a bit frustrated.)
If you genuinely get started, it can be cathartic. But often it's just plain painful.
Characters are funny like that.
One of my characters was supposed to be the Obi-wan of the story, showing up to mentor the young hero then bowing out somewhere around the end of act one.
Of course, he's having none of this. Somewhere around 1200 words in, he decided to hijack the story. Now, the whole POV for everything has shifted, and suddenly it's his story. I have no idea where he's going at this point.
(It doesn't help that real life intervenied to put me WAY behind on my writing, either.)
Amazing how that can happen. Real life sucks, too.
Definitely surprising me. I had gnomes pop up to investigate a murder, and mot the settlers are arguing over whether they want the gnome population to interact with them enough to generate a Santa Claus. Not at all what I expected in a light-hearted SF romance.
Whoa, yeah! That's pretty cool stuff!
Actually, it wasn't all that cool. Now that it's finished, I'll be destroying the bulk of it and re-writing it practically from scratch. The pirates are going, and the corporate take-over, and the really heavy-handed enviroweenyism. Unfortunately, the light-hearted romance will go, too.
On the plus side, I'll be keeping the gnomes, and the two new characters that weaseled their way in. I'm definitely keeping the pandemic, the tech level, the conflict between the new immigrants from Earth and the established settlers.
How has your character surprised you, and will you be able to keep most of your novel?
The part that I thought would be perfunctory turned out to be the heart of the novel. She's being remarkably stubborn about changing. At this point I'm working toward the last of my 50,000 words in a sort of drifting dance where neither of us know for sure where we're going, but for now we're committed to being lost. This part, I won't be keeping much of. But most of it I'm pretty happy with.
I'm still behind at about 29,000 words now. I had no idea where this story was going in the begining but once the plot did form I haven't been that surprised where this is going...though I was surprised when the plot popped up.
I'm pretty pleased by the way it is developing, today anyway :)
Do you ever find that your character(s) do things that just blow your mind? Things you didn't see coming.
I can't get used to that.
Yeah, but you have to let them go, otherwise it comes across as artificial.
Bah! Nothing about this novel is going the way I planned it to in the beginning. I dunno. It's still going well enough.
Hey, at least you're writing, and you're happy. That's great.
Yeah, and it's acting as a prequel for the novel I should be writing.
I'm at 5,000 words, and my character has yet to leave her house. Of course, it's shaping up so that the epic quest on which she's about to embark may be all inside her own mind, so maybe she's never going to leave her house. Hard to say at this point.
Yeah, it took me about 20,000 words to get mine out of the hospital. So I understand.
I am just a few hundred words away from 35,000 words. My story has gone to places I had no idea it would go, which is really awesome! I'm really excited about it as it may end up being a *real* novel, as in I may continue writing about three pages per day after Nano is finished! Of course, it won't be so urgent to me to write each day, but I think I may *not* be finished with the story. I am not certain, but from where I am at the moment, it seems that way!
Glad your story is coming along well, too!
2006-11-21 11:07 am (UTC)
Re: Me, too!!!
Congrats on awesome progress.
Right now I'm feeling like my novel is nothing but an unmitigated, steaming pile, but still I forge ahead.
I'm not actually doing Nano, but I did start a novelish thing in November. I'm 11k in, and I realized a few days ago that almost every bit of it will be cut. Very little of it belongs in the novelish itself.
I still have to figure out what exactly happens, though, so we'll see how many thousand words I write of general history.
That happens, too. I think some of this will eventually be cut as I figure out what is necessary and what is just meandering.
2006-11-21 08:07 pm (UTC)
you are amazing...
you blow me away with your capacity for being so incredibly smart, funny, witty, and yet still amazingly sweet.
thank you from the bottom of my heart...
you just rock my socks, lady!
2006-11-21 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: totally OT
Hey, you were having a bad day. You deserve to know you're loved.
I'm finding that when you set up your protagonist to be naive, it's HARD to push her to become... not. While still keeping her sense of wonder and awe, anyway. Not that she would become CYNICAL, mind you, but simply that she's spent 35k being astounded, and either she has to lose that or she will become REALLY tiring.
My secondary characters are cool and I like 'em, but I'm worried that I've created the Middle Eastern version of the Magical Black Man. Not that he knows everything, but... I dunno. It's a voice SO different from my own that while I'm borrowing liberally from those I DO know, I'm still worried about it.
And I've decided that there is no plot, only experiences. Vignettes tied together by common protagonists, and no antagonists. Plot will be for next year.
Thing is... I'd hate this book if I were reading it, I bet. So that's not a good sign...
I'm feeling the same way about mine right now. But the point is the writing. Right?
It seems that for writers, it varies. Some characters perform what the writer expected them to. And others, like mine, continue to surprise me.
I like to describe how I get to know my characters is like an interview. I sit down with them and I ask them their life story, even as I write about them. (There's a reason why my fantasy world has been revised numerous times over the past 12 years!) Of course, they still surprise me, even years later.
I have one character in particular who started out one way and eventually evolved into a different person. He was supposed to be one of my bad guys, a cold hearted, brilliant man who basically made a pact with the devil in order to live. But once I got past the shell, I found he isn't as cold or as cruel as I first thought he was. Some of my friends, those who have read some of the story so far about him, are now obsessed with his tale and keep hoping that I'll eventually finish his story.
Can't say I blame them.
So, yeah, my characters surprise me. I know some of them will die--it's practically pre-ordained--and it just feels more realistic like that to me. Not all heroes survive, but they definitely leave a lasting mark upon me and my stories.
(And I was rambling. Sorry!)