The fabulous Christine Smith is hosting the third part of her writerly linkup this month and I’m hopping on to share about how my 10th NaNoWriMo (Nov. 2019) went! (Spoiler alert: It went REALLY well.)
Firstly, I should explain that I’ll be talking about two different stories, since I ended up going Rebel for this NaNo and writing some of Operation Foxtail (codename) and also working on my novella WIP Double Lives at Kedran’s Wood.
Also, near the end I’m sharing a few snippets from the Tare novella!
1. Firstly, how did writing this novel go all around?
Operation Foxtail: Smashingly well! I wrote 35K, which, although not 50K, is gobstoppingly fantastic considering I didn’t even know if I could write a chapter. XD And I already had some snippets and stuff for this, so I got to connect a bunch of those, and it felt AMAZING. I got stuck a couple of times but was able to pants through the difficult bits until I got to the end of my rough outline and decided I should stop (instead of floundering around with a part I didn’t know what to do with). I think I’m probably about halfway… which I’m super excited about.
And then I switched to something else to finish up my 50K for NaNo. Because Rebel. 😛 (I’ve been doing a lot of NaNo rebelling lately. XD)
Double Lives at Kedran’s Wood (KW2.5): Pretty well! I mean, I wrote 15K on this one and I was able to more than double the wordcount I had before NaNo. I binge-wrote 15K in 5 days so that’s pretty good for me. XD I’d been stuck in the middle part of this novella for a few months and this gave me the chance to finish the middle and get probably half through the big ending stuff.
2. Did it turn out like you expected or completely different? And how do you feel about the outcome?
OF: I’m not sure! I didn’t really know what to expect, but I thiiiink it turned out pretty well so far? And how do I feel? ECSTATIC. I am just so, so, so happy that I got to write so much on this thing, and while I do have a couple of not-sure feelings about one or two things, and it got progressively messier as I went, I’m still super pleased with what I wrote! *happy pterodactyl screaming* Some aspects are definitely different than I expected, but I didn’t really know WHAT to expect, so. And some parts were even better, and I just had a BLAST. 😀
KW2.5: It turned out more rambly than I thought it would and I hoped to be done with it by now (it’s at 27K), but anyway. XD I’m pretty happy? I feel like it’s a mess and for some reason I’m not totally happy with how this one’s been turning out, buuut I’m glad to be getting the rough draft down, either way. And writing it during NaNo and pushing through the parts I didn’t know forced me to pants a little which actually turned out really interesting, especially near the end there… So I guess I’m pleased I got this far. 🙂
3. What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
OF: Definitely the characters and dialog. So much fun! I love them so much. 😀 And certain plot/theme/settings that I’m just super excited about! *zips lips*
KW2.5: Probably the dialog and shenanigans that are clearly a part of any story involving two opposite characters ending up looking like each other and having to fill in for each other’s lives. XD A buddy-story where they look like each other instead of themselves is proving to have lots of fun. And I loved the unexpected fantasy parts at the end that happened when I was figuring it out as I went.
4. How about your least favorite part?
OF: Probably the parts where I didn’t know what was going to happen, since that’s scary to a plotter like me. XD But they all worked out so far? But honestly, until I got stuck there at the end and decided to switch, and aside from the times when I didn’t want to write just because of life, I pretty much enjoyed every single part of writing this thing so far! IT WAS SO FUN. AAAAHH.
KW2.5: I was having a tough time with this one, just in general. I think I’m second-guessing a lot of it because it had a lot of new dynamics I wasn’t used to writing with this series… So nothing specific, just trying to get through difficult bits. And using it to try to finish NaNo early since the last week of the month was CRAZY.
5. What do you feel like needs the most work?
OF: I’m not sure I’m revealing plot things at the right pace… But it’s in first-person so it’s a little hard to gauge that. XD I’m sure I’ll need to deal with more PLOT things since, you know, plot is important and I still only have a hazy idea of the second half, which I’m sure will affect the first half. 😛 But otherwise it actually feels a little more polished than sometimes, at least early on.
KW2.5: It just feels messy and rambly, honestly. *hides face* I don’t really know. XD
6. How do you feel about your characters
now that the novel is done? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!
OF: My favorite is definitely the hero. HE’S JUST GREAT OKAY. But I love all of them. And yes, they all surprised me! :O That time my heroine yelled at a dragon… That time my laid-back hero got furious… That time one side-character’s attitude was so much more attitude-ish than I thought… That way another side character manages to contain two opposite sorts of temperaments and also ended up in the story way more than I thought she would be… It’s been interesting!
(Yes, I’m sharing this pic collage for KW2.5 again and I’m not sorry. XD)
KW2.5: Tare is always my favorite, but I guess it gets complicated who’s my favorite when Tare looks like Adrian and Adrian looks like Tare. XD I sort of enjoyed writing some of Adrian’s parts more because he’s filling in for Tare’s life, which is fun. XD And I guess they both are a little hard to predict in their different settings… So that’s been fun. Heheh.
(Also I realized that both of these don’t really have character-villains at this point in the story at least, so I don’t really have a least favorite. Is it fair when the antagonist is more of a… magical mishap for KW2.5 (left over from book 2’s villain) and… TBD for Operation Foxtail? *cough*)
7. What’s your next plan of action with this novel?
OF: I’m not sure. I’m taking a break, definitely, to work on KW2.5 and just recover from NaNo and deal with holiday busyness, and then I guess at some point I need to plot the rest of the book and write the second half. Heh. Eheheh. Not sure how soon that will happen, but at some point!
KW2.5: I’m taking off a bit to recover from NaNo and then I would love to see if I can finish this novella this month… if possible, in the midst of Christmas and general life-catch-up. 😛 I probably only have a couple of chapters left? Hopefully?
8. If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?
OF: I really want this one published. Like. Really. Obviously, I don’t know in what way or when, but maybe someday. XD In the meantime my dream is to finish it and for it to turn out how I want it and to manage to edit it, at least enough to get it to beta-readers! Which I’m really excited about. So. We’ll see. 😛
KW2.5: I don’t really know. XD It’s a novella for fun, in the middle of a series for fun, so… have it finished and how I want it? Maybe publish it someday? It’s a little far out still, though.
9. Share some of your favorite snippets!
I’m not quite ready to share Operation Foxtail stuff yet, so you get a few from Mixup at Kedran’s Wood! 🙂
(Context for this first one: Tare-who-looks-like-Adrian, along with Adrian’s sister, Emily, are talking over speaker-phone with Adrian-who-looks-like-Tare.)
“We just kind of assumed you broke up with Ivy or something.”
“What?” Adrian said, alarmed. “She—I—we didn’t!”
“Mm-hmm,” Emily said. “It’s just one of the only reasons I could think of why you might actually be acting like this.”
“Tare, stop acting like my girlfriend dumped you. Me. Whatever.”
“I’m not,” Tare snapped. “I’m acting normal.”
“You never act normal.”
“I’m acting normal for me,” Tare said.
“I know. That’s why I told you to stop.”
Tare narrowed his eyes. “You’d better be glad we’re not in the same room.”
“We need to get a selfie!” Baz said.
Adrian blinked. “Does Tare do selfies?”
“I’m quite certain he doesn’t, which means we have the once in a lifetime opportunity to get selfies with Tare while he’s not here. I understand that doesn’t make sense when put into words, but . . . anyway,” Baz added.
“Oh, fine,” Adrian said with a half smile. He got up and slid into the side of the booth with Lavender and Baz and leaned over toward them. He grinned (which looked wrong on Tare’s face) and made a peace sign at the camera which resulted in Baz and Lavender both laughing way too hard while Baz snapped the photo, so it looked like they were having the life of the hilarious party.
Adrian dug out his—Tare’s—phone and took one on that too.
“Tare’s going to kill me,” he said, grinning.
“Oh, he’s going to kill all of us,” Baz said cheerily. “It was toootally worth it though.”
Tare covered his face with one hand. “What did you do?” he groaned.
“I was just a little conversational—it’s not a crime,” Adrian protested.
“Conversational,” Tare said, “is something that I am not. If you just made it where people are going to start making small talk with me for hours, I’m going to kill you.”
“Add it to the list,” Adrian said with a grin.
Tare scowled all over Adrian’s face. “You do that. And stop grinning with my face.”
“You’re one to talk,” Adrian said, tossing a twig over the fire in Tare’s direction. “Scowls look terrible on me. Cut it out.”
“You don’t own anything not-black, do you,” Adrian said. “I was thinking maybe I could find something else to wear, maybe even some grey, but nooo, it’s all black. It’s depressing, that’s what it is.”
“You know what’s depressing? All the yellow you have,” Tare said, pushing aside a branch and not bothering to hold it, so it sort of tried to thwack Adrian in the face before he could catch it. “I had to work to find this.” Tare turned half-way around and flicked the dark grey fabric on his chest.
“It’s no wonder people thought I was depressed and had broken up with Ivy, with you dressing in dark clothes like that,” Adrian said. “And there’s nothing wrong with yellow.”
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in most of your wardrobe. And your jeans are too blue,” Tare said over his shoulder.
Adrian threw his hands up. “Jeans are supposed to be blue!”
10. Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?
I learned, as I often do during NaNo, that I’m capable of writing large amounts of words in less than a month, even when I feel stuck, as long as I just sit down and do it. I also learned that writing a book that you’re excited about is the. most. fun. And that pantsing does occasionally lead to exciting unplanned things, which I don’t like to admit, since pantsing scares me because I don’t like not knowing what’s going to happen. XD
I hope y’all enjoyed this little peek into how NaNo went for me!
All told, I wrote 50,188 words in 25 days, and finished the earliest I’d ever finished NaNo! Life was kind of stressful but writing-wise it was a spectacular 10th NaNo! ^_^
Also, partway through, I hit a million words, which I shared about in a previous post. I’m still pretty excited about that. 🙂
If you did NaNo, how did yours go? And let me know if you liked the snippets. XD Who else is in denial it’s December?? *raises hand* I hope you had a good November, regardless!