Mark Terry

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo & Me

November 15, 2012

Ah, yes. November is National Novel Writing Month, better known, at least by aspiring scribblers, as NaNoWriMo. I'm not a fan. Partly because for me, I write all the time. So in theory I don't need a month in which I'm inspired to write.

In theory. I'll get back to that.

And prior to the so-called ebook-self-pub revolution, I typically felt December was then Agents Run Quaking In Fear Month, less-well-known as AgRuQuFeMo.

Now, I suppose, with a million people or so cranking through a novel in a month (supposedly), they are then slamming their scribblings up on Amazon and B&N PubIt and Smashwords, et al. with barely a chance to take a breath. Or, you know, edit. Or rewrite. Or hit the delete button.

Oh well. Not to worry. I'm not ripping on people who participate in NaNoWriMo, really I'm not. As John Scalzi pointed out recently on his blog, I'm not trying to be a dick about this, but I make my living as a writer, so every month is NaNoWriMo.

Except, for me, it's been more like, The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions Month (TRoTHellPaWiGoInMo????). 'cause, with the pressures to actually turn a fairly mediocre 2012 into something resembling keeping my head above water financially, I've tended to put my nonfiction on the front burner and the fiction on the back burner (or in the oven warming up, or, you know, never pulling them out of the styrofoam box in the refrigerator to warm up at all, if y'all don't mind me extending the metaphor to ridiculous levels).

I've been writing fiction. And, in fact, with several major clients crashing and burning this year for various reasons, I have noted that my regular fiction royalties have more or less saved my ass financially this year.

So I chose November to be get-my-shit-together month, better known as Get-My-Shit-Together Month! So I've been trying to write fiction every day. Okay, ALMOST every day. And without necessarily using the NaNoWriMo template of about 1600 words per day, I am, nonetheless, producing something like 1000 to 3000 words per day.

Part of the problem is that I'm working on three projects. Just one would be better. But I had two that I really, really wanted to keep alive, and that meant not abandoning one for weeks on end. Then, because my publishing numbers are obvious and several people have, in fact, pointed this out to me, the Derek Stillwater novels are the bestselling (by far) works. So I decided to start working on another prequel Derek Stillwater novella, this one titled GRAVEDIGGER. It'll be out something in 2013.

The other two are novels. An espionage novel about a CIA agent named Monaco Grace. That book is titled CHINA FIRE and it's coming along fairly well.

The other is CRYSTAL STORM, which is a tech thriller, and it's coming along okay, but it too I expect to come out in 2013.

Also, I today started rewriting/editing a novel with my son, Ian. It's a sequel to my novel MONSTER SEEKER, and it is called MONSTER SEEKER 2: RISE OF THE DARK SEEKERS. He finished his rough draft last night and I'm starting on the rewrite. He's a lot edgier than I am with this series and took it in some very unexpected places, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

So, happy NaNoWriMo, or as I prefer to call it, Get-My-Shit-Together Month.

Mark Terry


Anonymous Stan R. Mitchell said...

You handled writing about this November craze better than I could have, and I'm going to again decline to comment on it and say what I really think.

Anyway, hate to hear the freelance work dried up some, but I'm still convinced you're going to make it big from your fiction work, so it's not going to matter.

2:45 PM  
Blogger M.E.Mayer said...

I've never been a Nanofan. My reaction, when asked if I would do it has been "Nah, no." Maybe that makes me sound like Mork.

For one thing 50,000 words isn't a novel to publishers these days except, I suppose for the YA market. Mind you, I loved those short crime novels from the fifties.

Then too my method is get it right the first time as nearly as possible. I realize some writers prefer to dash things off, get something -- anything -- down and then clean it up. But I'm leery. Rushing through a book, just to produce a given number of words per day? Are working an assembly line? If you start off with too much of a mess are you ever going to be able to fix it up?

Well, Georges Simenon said he'd lock himself in a hotel room for less than a week to write his superb mysteries so everyone's got their own approach but just putting X number of words on the screen?

Hope business imroves, by the way. And glad t hear you are stillworking hard on the fiction

3:12 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

It all has its ups and downs. One big client disappeared because, as far as I can tell, they weren't happy with my work. I guess. Hard to tell, because the client doesn't respond to emails or phone calls. Again, a case of working happily with one editor who left the company and the new editor came in mid-project and it didn't gel. It happens. Unfortunate, because I would have liked to continue working with them.

The other client is much clearer. They fired the guy I worked with and the new guy can't get his shit together. They want to work with me, but they just. can't. seem. to. get. their. shit. together.

Ah well. I've had worse years and I've had better.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Eric (ME),
I try to write pretty clean first drafts as well so that rewrites primarily involve copyediting. So the vomit words onto the page method isn't something I've done in recent years. The advantage to it, of course, is you do get stuff written. The disadvantage, imho, is that the rewrites can be an awful lot of work. At the moment it more or less seems to be working for me, though, so I may have needed to give my permission to just GET IT DONE without a lot of worry about getting it right.

4:07 AM  

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