Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaNoWriMo - The Home Stretch

NaNoWriMo is almost over for this year. Actually, it has been "over" for me for a couple of weeks. I got to 50,000 words, and had a beginning, middle and end by November 15. We will (for the moment) leave aside the fact that the beginning was weak, the middle needs to be beefed up, and the ending totally sucked.

This was the first time I tried writing a fantasy novel. I got half way through and decided that the world just didn't need another variation on the Arthurian legend. There have been many variations of the story written over the last five hundred odd years. Some have given me goose-bumps even though I knew the outcome. Others have been just dumb. What makes me think I can add anything worthwhile to the chorus?

I wrote the draft of the novel and decided it was crap, so I put it away for a few days. Then I decided I should at least round out the firs draft, so I did some editing, which revived my interest in the story. Maybe it wasn't such crap after all -- except for that awful ending.

This week I spent many hours revising the last third of the book in order to improve the ending. The outcome is exactly where I wanted to go all along. The problem I had with the original version was that the events that led up to it were just -- well, lame. It's nowhere near a polished manuscript, but at least now it has a beginning that's not too bad and the ending I had in mind. In order to be worth putting out for people to read, the middle will need work.

I am still not convinced this story merits my attention after November 30. I'm going to put it away for a while now and let it rest for a few months. Then I'll decide if I think it's worth the effort to edit and polish.


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