Have you missed me?
I got so engrossed with writing the NaNoWriMo novel in November and the sequel (still in progress) in December, and the of course the holidays intervened, that I took a break from my blog. This was my thinking: I can either write 1,000 words on my blog, or I can put that 1,000 words towards my novels’ daily word counts, and the novels won out. But here, enjoy some metrics about the actual novel I wrote in November.
Title: The Life & Times of Hecate Applebough, Teenage Poet
Page Count: 281 (double-spaced)
Certified NaNoWriMo Winner: Yes
Genre: YA high school romance-ish
Plotline: Hecate (“Cate”) Applebough attends a school for wealthy, gifted students while developing her interests in writing and poetry. She also attends events at an afternoon club and becomes friends with its members.
Timeframe of Plot: August 22nd-December 25th
Setting: Fictional town of Lytton, Maryland
My Favorite Character Besides Cate: A toss-up between her Mom and Professor Khaniff
Character I’m in love with: Alaunius
Novel Statistics: Number of…
Times the Main Character (Cate) is Named: 184 (But this is somewhat disingenuous, as the book is written in first person. I tried to do a search on the number of times “I” was mentioned, but it listed all the I’s in the book, to the tune of 23,744 times.)
Times other Salon characters are named: Alaunius/Lonny: 472; Val/Malik: 463; Finian: 147; Felix: 133; Arwyn: 93; Dhruv: 68
Times Mom/ Maggie is named: 369
Times Professor Khaniff is named: 30
Poems Cate “writes”: 4 (There are references to others, but I only include 4 poems in the actual text.)
Poems others “write”: 5
Times the words “Poetry” or “Poem” appear: 176
Texts from all characters: 111
Times the word “Text” appears: 96
Times the fictional manga title A Moon for Autumn appears: 10
Times the fictional character Takehiko from A Moon for Autumn is named: 23
People who have read this book besides me: 2 (1 for sure, 1 I’m not 100% about, but I gave it to her to read.)
The Sequel, You Ask?
The sequel is currently title-less… I really could just slap “Volume 2” on it, but I don’t love the original title so much that I want to repeat it (and frankly, the original title is subject to change, anyway). On the other hand, I don’t want to adopt the format of Indiana Jones and the… or Harry Potter and the… either.
Or if I do follow that pattern, I guess the title will be something along the lines of Hecate Applebough and the Fucked Up Men in Her Life which I don’t think anyone would naturally gravitate towards if they saw the book for sale in Barnes & Noble. (Despite it being an accurate title to describe Cate’s life as it appears in the sequel. And let’s be real, that would probably be an apt title for the first one too… Hmm.)
Speaking of the sequel, it’s making me lose the will to live. I’m really having to work to write it. It’s like the first one wrote itself, like it was buried somewhere in my psyche, and just needed an excuse to be expressed on the page. But LaToHATP ended on a cliffhanger so of course I had to write the sequel…which is going sooooo sloooowly. I mean the first book covered four months; I’m only in February in the second book. (Still.) Granted, I’m at February 26th, but really, I’m 215 pages in (currently 66,702 words), and she’s only lived 2 months since the original book? Come on. And somehow I have to resolve this story in the next 14,000 words? Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
I don’t think it’s necessarily slow in terms of plot, I just think that there are so many characters making demands on me, that it’s really hard to progress. Also, it’s really hard to write in first person. Like, there are so many things going on in the background that Cate can’t know, and it’s really restrictive to me as a writer, and that annoys me. (But to be fair, I’d probably complain if I wrote in third-person too. But if I did write in third-person, at least I could let the audience know things that would be helpful to know in terms of backstory. But alas, I cannot.)
2015 was a pretty good writing year for me over all. Back when I decided to challenge myself with NaNoWriMo, I wasn’t even sure I could write 50,000 words in a month, and in 2 months plus a week, I’ve managed to write 145,844 words, which is amazing. Add that onto all of the publications I had in 2015 (10, across genres, plus several more accepted, and a Pushcart Prize nomination), and I have to count it as my most successful year of writing yet, and I’m proud of that.
Of course, if I plan to do anything with LaToHATP, that will require a hella lot of work, and while I’m working on the sequel (and sadly, one assumes the sequel to the sequel, because I can’t fix Cate’s life in the remaining 14,000 words, there’s just no way in hell), I can’t think about revising.
Plus…revising fiction is really hard, and I’m not good at it. Like revising a poem? I got that down to a science. But since fiction is basically a mysterious genre to me, I don’t know how to revise my own work. I mean, I can tell other people how to revise (hence, why I teach fiction in my creative writing class), but I seem to have blinders on when it comes to my own work. I just have no idea where to go. And, frankly, no idea whom to ask for help. Well, ok, I have an idea of whom to ask, but I feel like it would bleed him dry, and I couldn’t possibly ask him. Unless I had $100 lying around I could slip him for the pain and agita… Anyway.
Still, I’m not gonna worry about revision for a little while. I need to worry about resolving Cate’s life and then I can get back to writing poems full time.
At least, that’s the plan.