Some of you may know I have been working on a series of books with the working title Realms of Magic. Currently, it comprises three novels and at least one novella. Lately, I have been developing this collection throughout my Masters in Creative Writing, which I started in January, however, I am also using NaNoWriMo—National November Writing Month—to continue with this too! In previous NaNoWriMo years, I have compelled myself to complete 50,000 words by the end of the month and forced the words into something. This year I wanted it to be different. Using the strategies given to me by my course, I took my novel apart and reconstructed it slowly. The story is now different to what I originally planned.
I realised that 50,000 words is too much of a target to have, especially if I can’t get it finished. Instead, I am taking it day by day, setting myself mini targets which are more manageable, taking sequence by sequence, writing them slowly but carefully. A strategy that has proved most effective as I have used the outline I created before NaNoWriMo and free wrote each one before moving on to the next. This is a much slower process and I haven’t done as many words I have on other years before but I am prouder of what I have done this time. I feel like I am moving through the sequences a lot quicker as I am not stressing about building up the details and therefore the word count, reaching that day’s target. At the moment I am pleased with how my project looks. I have looked at my outline, including a 9-point-grid method a friend taught me how to use, and feel pleased to see I am nearing the conclusion.
Although I found my word count slower this year, I am prouder of my work. I wish I did this in the previous years rather than attempt to write the 50,000. The fact that I can look at the chapters and the scenes I have written this month and say, “I like them” is an improvement and is giving me the courage to keep writing. I will remember this for NaNoWriMo 2022… it’ll come quick enough, after all, this year’s one did.
I wouldn’t do it any other way or do it the way I had done it before, I have found the ability to free write and creativity seems to come more naturally in this new way so I will defiantly continue writing this way.
Currently, I would say my proudest scene is where my protagonist, Nancy (birth name Ariana) takes two of her friends back to her home on Earth. Her sister, Kristina worries about the stress she is under to fulfil the prophecy and gives her an ultimatum before they go forth on the mission to rescue their parents. She must take time and reflect on the reasons why SHE is truly fulfilling the prophecy. Nancy goes home to Earth and now she defiantly notices the contrast of the two worlds. She is bemused by her friends’ reaction to Earth things and sees how she reacted herself in the magical world. The more time she spends on Earth, the more she realises she can’t shut off one part of her life, sacrificing it for the other. Sacrifice is too great which I will build on more in the third book, an identity of a princess vs an ordinary girl on Earth
There are small lines which show how confused my protagonist’s friends are by the simplest Earth items and how Nancy has to explain what they are. I hope it adds comedy into an otherwise romantic adventure story.
My plan for the two weeks is to continue the strategy I have been using up until now. I will continue to use the outline of the entire I have constructed and write sequence by sequence, reframing from going back to edit and adding particular details until I reach and resolve the long-awaited climax. Right now, I don’t know if I will reach the climax in the next two weeks, but I will keep going, adding to my NaNoWriMo and by the end of the two weeks, I aim to only have the very last few chapters to finish.
Unlike previous years when I was just writing for the sake of writing and because I have everything outlined, I can actually see the end of my book in sight. Woo hoo!