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NaNoWriMo and Works in Progress

November 18, 2012

As some of you may be aware, NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is an activity some of us undertake in the month of the November. It’s open to anyone, published or not, who wants to join in and try to get some words down, helped by the added encouragement you get from doing it as a group. The idea is to start a novel and write 50,000 words in the course of the thirty days. This is a rate of 1,667 words a day, quite doable. Except for the part where you have to hit this average daily for 30 days in a row.

I don’t write steadily like that – I never will. Some days I write zero. I had a long stretch of time this fall when I wrote nothing except short stories for the YA LGBT group. (I was in a mire of doubt about my work – confidence having nothing to do with actual hard evidence. I’m mostly over it now.) But although I’m not a steady writer, I can get 5000 words or more written on the good days, so it averages out. Last year I “won” my NaNo certificate, completing 50K words on a sequel to my Kira Harp short story The Benefit of Ductwork. That novel, Life, Some Assembly Required, is still not quite done, but I have sworn to complete it in 2013.

This year I’m working on a stand-alone contemporary M/M tentatively called Sole Support. (As an aside, I always search my proposed titles on GR and Amazon, to be sure I’m not reusing some popular book’s title. This one on Amazon gave me only inserts for shoes :) )

I got a slow start at the beginning of the month, due to a few urgent family issues and a short-notice trip. But now I’m on a roll, and I hope to meet the word count, and perhaps even finish the book within the NaNo deadline. Technically this year I’m a “rebel” which means I didn’t start a new book but went with one already at 30K words. That means I can’t “win” by the classic rules, but I’m using the challenge to put at least 50K more on the existing 30. Which would be almost enough to finish the whole book – I figure that’s an even better win.

(For those of you who are also doing NaNo, there is an excerpt of the beginning of the first chapter on my “Kaje Harper” profile. And I wish all of you fast, fun, and creative writing.)

After Sole Support is done with the first draft, I promise that Life Lessons 4 is next. I know I left it a bit up in the air at the end of book 3, and I’m eager to find out how things work out for Tony and Mac. For me, part of the fun of writing is that I don’t plan it all out first. So I don’t know any more than you do yet just where the guys will end up. But the first chapter of book 4 is done and waiting for me to go on with it soon.

I will have a short free story about Mac and Tony coming out in December. That will be my next actual release. After that, well, I’ll let you know. The dry spell I had means I don’t have anything in press right now, but I’ve never been wordless for long. There will be more books. The first chapter of Hidden Wolves 3 has also been bouncing around in my head. It’s really good to be writing again.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches here in the US, I am grateful for many things. Grateful that the recent natural disasters were not worse than they turned out, that so far my family crises have been muted, that my state voted against homophobic language in our constitution, and I’m grateful that the words are flowing again in my writing. I hope everyone has a good holiday week (or just a good week if you live outside the US.) If you are traveling, may it be a safe, pleasant trip. May the delays be short, the roads clear and dry, and your airplane seat-mates free of cold viruses. Take care of each other, and may you find many good books to read.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Carnell permalink
    November 19, 2012 11:37 am

    Love all those good news Kaje!!!! And good luck with NaNo. :)

  2. Dre permalink
    November 30, 2012 1:57 pm

    Glad to hear there’s going to be a Life Lessons 4. I have had the books on my kindle forever, but I just got around to reading them this week, and I absolutely loved them. My review of Home Work on Goodreads actually questioned whether there would be a book 4, so we could find out whether Mac’s speech issues ever fully resolve. Good to know we’ll get some kind of resolution and not be left hanging!

    • November 30, 2012 9:28 pm

      There will be a book 4, plus I’m going to put out a little free short story in a week or so, just to see what the guys are doing at New Year’s. I wouldn’t leave things hanging like that forever, I promise. I’m glad you’re enjoying the series so far.

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