A Long Delayed Victory Lap

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

I mentioned back before the fast that I had “won” NaNoWriMo again in November and I promised a victory lap of sorts. Since I never did that, I am doing it now. I wrote over 50,000 words in November on my fantasy novel currently titled Apocalypse. We’ll see if the name sticks with all the changes and developments that occurred in the last 50,000 words added to the draft.

You would think that 100,000 words would be the vast majority of a pretty good story. I mean, it is more words than either of the first two Harry Potter books, and they were fabulous stories. It’s almost as many words as the third book in the Harry Potter series which was a stupendous story. All of these I still read as an adult, along with the rest of the series. So, again, 100,000 words should be close to a solid first draft. Except…

…this 100,000 words is a disjointed account of the main character’s travels and experiences and an even more disjointed (and longer) account of a secondary character’s travels and experiences. It has no real beginning, no organized development, no story arc, no ending, and needs at least another 50,000 words to gel into a story. The secondary character is coming dangerously close to becoming the main character due to the amount of story that focuses on them. If this happens, the entire story line that I envisioned back in 2017 will become secondary to…some other story.

Some would ask “why not just have two (or more) main characters and work through their stories just like George R.R. Martin does in A Song of Ice and Fire?”. Mainly because…I’m not George R.R. Martin, nor am I of that caliber of storyteller, at least not at this point. The idea of working through both story arcs in the same volume is at best, daunting and at worst, absolutely frightening. I have considered this possibility and have thought about ways to do this and none of them feel like they would work. Both characters’ story lines have large time jumps in them, so not only would I potentially be switching back and forth between two main characters, but I would have to make that time leap for both of them. I don’t even know how to make the leap for one of them.

So even though I “won” NaNoWriMo in November, as the banner at the top of this post proclaims, I am far from having a complete first draft, possibly even farther away than I was before I started this past November. I may have to tamp down my inner writer for a while and bring out my inner editor to savagely cut away at the narrative until it begins to make sense. Me and my inner editor argue a lot, particularly about my own writing, so that process will not be fun. Editing other people’s work is easy…editing my own is gut-wrenching.

My plan right now is to continue building my world, which will take considerable time, making some notes about how the story arcs can conclude, organizing my scenes, and continuing to write. I wrote about world building in a couple of previous posts, back on January 14th of this year and on January 11th when I wrote about this particular writing project. It is fun and exhausting all at the same time. If I can’t further my story, I will world build. That’s my plan, for now.

There’s my victory lap. It only took a couple of months or so for me to post it. I’m getting better…

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