December 1, 2019

NanoWrimo and Eldala's sequel

so if you've been following my NanoWrimo writing progress on Facebook, you may be wondering what comes next after writing 31,000 words. (if you haven't followed me on Facebook, you didn't even know i was writing this month. surprise. i wrote 31,203 words in 30 days.)

first, let me define NanoWrimo with this blurb i found from the internet:

National Novel Writing Month is an annual Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. 

i used Nano to write my first novel back in 2005, and it will always have a special place in my writing journey. the event has been around for about 20 years and has evolved over that time. most participants use it to start a new novel, whether they're brand new to it or seasoned veterans. others use it to finish a novel they started before November. this year i used it to add fresh material to a story that i've been trying to finish for a long time.  

i started Black Heart (the sequel to Eldala) ten years ago. over the course of the last ten years, i finished a first draft and a second draft-- and then we moved to Montana in 2011. there have been major life adjustments, a second move into our new house, depression, and health issues. i've tried on and off to finish the sequel, or at least make progress on it. 

i have files labeled Black Heart 1, 1.1, 2.0 - 2.5, 3.0, 3.1, 4, 6 (i don't know what happened to 5), BH Nov 2018, BH 2019, and BH July 2019. I also have Eldala 2, Eldala 2 2016, and Eldala 2 2018. Under those labels, i have 2126 different files that amount to 194 MB of data.  

my son started helping me with the villain and the new plot a few years ago, so some of those files are typed-out brainstorming sessions we've had together. thankfully, he's really good at remembering all the details so i don't have to keep them all straight, but i still need to find a way to keep them straight so i can write the novel when he's not around.  

participating in NanoWrimo this year gave me 30 more documents, labeled Nov. 1, 2019 - Nov. 30, 2019. the words were important because they gave me some new information about characters and plot points, and how it all fits together. more importantly, it got me back into the habit of writing every day because i hadn't written in a very long time. 30 days later and i don't like the idea of not writing. i've remembered what it's like to let myself write badly so i can get the words out. 

so you might be wondering, with all this new material, how close am i now to finishing the sequel? well, that's a good question, and it's one my friends (who read Eldala when i first published it in 2007) have been asking for ten years. 

at this point, i still don't know, but i'm a lot closer to finishing than i was before. i still have to weed through at least a third of those 2100 files to find the things i want to keep, and write new material to fit into a plot change we decided on a few months ago. they aren't major changes, but they're fiddly changes, and they take time. so that will be another draft in a long list of drafts. 

after that, there's the process of editing, proofreading, getting a few friends to read through it to make sure there aren't huge plot holes or inconsistencies, more editing and proofreading, and then getting it formatted to publish through and Kindle. 

i hate to put a date to when it will be finished because i've done that so many times and then didn't make the date. i hope to have it published by the end of 2020, but it's very hard to tell. 

how ever long it takes, i appreciate all of my friends (old and new) who are cheering me on as i take this writing journey once again. thank you for your patience and encouragement.

---> as a side note, a friend asked me how many pages 31,000 words make and how many do i have to go -- if i remember right, my first novel is 132,000 words and 511 pages (double spaced in a Word document - i think that's 412 in a book). 31,203 words in a Word document, double spaced make 129 pages.

that being said, i don't know how many pages those 31,000 words will make because not all of those words will go into the novel. and i don't really know how many i have now from other versions that will go into the novel. 


Unknown said...

Thanks for the info on how far 31,000 words go,I can't wait to read your sequel! Keep up the great work, I know it will be wonderful :) xoxo

Michelle Gregory said...

Thanks, dear. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's awesome you finished it! (I also finished writing a story I've worked on for years.) Take a deep breath and just enjoy the moment. The rest will fall into place.