July means Camp NaNoWriMo, and Camp NaNoWriMo means prep for NaNo itself. It’s been a long time since I wrote regularly (despite all my promises to the contrary). Camp has thus far been a helpful tool to get me back into writing (my goal this month is 50,000 words), though it feels a lot like exercising an atrophied muscle. The distractions are strong, too: I keep thinking of my November goal and then having to zero my focus back in on what matters now.
At the time of typing this, I’m a little over one hundred pages into editing Cursed, and I estimate I have another 270 or so to go (and I have finally, tentatively decided on a real title). I’m excited to print it out, but that’s still a long way off (especially considering how long it has already taken me just to edit the first 100 pages). I’ll share more about my actual editing process in another blog in the future.
The real challenge has been getting the sequel–we’ll call it Cursed 2 for clarity’s sake–started. I know where the first book leaves off, and I know where the second book needs to end, and I have a very strong series of points in between, but I’m struggling to link them together. Consequently, I’ve been using Camp as a way to wrack up some brainstorming words. It’s already been helpful, but I have a long way to go before this book is ready to be written.
In brainstorming, I’m coming to the conclusion that a trilogy might not be long enough to tell this story. I keep finding mysteries in the first book that are not answered in the three books I had originally planned, and they are important questions. Not to mention the technical issue of getting my character to Destination B from her current location without the use of teleportation. It’s going to require in-story time that three books as they stand now would refuse me. But who knows? The story, if I let it develop organically, might fix this problem itself without requiring more books.
On a literary note, reading the Hugo winners has progressed rather slowly, largely because I’ve been reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, which is very similar to mine (minus the assassin MC and the Fae–so, not really like mine?) when I have reading time. I’ve even been reading her books slowly because I’ve been spending so much time in the creation rather than the consumption zone. It’s hard to sit still and read when you just want to write and revise your own work.
In non-wordsmith news, the remodeling is continuing at a glacial but steady pace. The next step is to trim out the windows, then construct custom bookcases for my room and build a desk to slide between them. I can’t wait to have a proper workspace! (And also, I apparently lied about the non-wordsmith news part. It all comes back to writing. Sorry.) I also spent a third Fourth of July sitting in the hospital, but fortunately I’ve not been the one in the bed, and no instances were related to mishandling of pyrotechnics.
I will continue to update the Learning from the Masters series as I go through the books, and I’ll be sharing some wordsketches throughout the month as I brainstorm and warm up in Camp. Happy writing! (And stay cool–Florida, you dastardly villain, I’m looking at you.)