I only really made the decision about a week before November started, because I had a number of ideas but none of them were any good. Then, lying in bed one Sunday morning, an idea came to me that I thought was worth a month and a half of my time, and off we went, on the grand journey once again.
The aim this time was to write a longer book. It Looks Like You’re Writing a Letter was 50,000 words and the only real criticism I’ve received from readers is that it’s too short. So this time, I aimed at 70,000 and gave myself until the middle of December.
Forty four consecutive days of writing (a majority at a minimum 1,700 words a day) and I have my first draft. It’s a different feeling this time – no real elation, no huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I think the reasons for this are as follows:
- Last year, I didn’t know I could even complete the task – this year I knew I could
- Last year, I didn’t know if I could even write, now I’m fairly sure I have the ability to write something that others might enjoy
- Winning NaNoWriMo was hit on schedule, but I was back to writing the following day, so it wasn’t as big a deal – more a milestone
- I’m now aware of what a huge piece of work the editing phase is.
The new novel, which has a name I’m not going to tell you in case I change it, is very different to ILLYWAL. Where ILLYWAL was a definite sci-fi detective story, making use of many familiar tropes, the new novel isn’t sci-fi at all. It’s going to be hard to describe, and hard to pigeonhole, and hard to market to people. But I hope it’s good, and that being good will be enough to put it in the hands of the general public.
I’m not going to give any more details about the new book as it’s still early days, even though draft one is finished. I haven’t even read it myself yet. It might be crap. I hope not.