Sunday, December 02, 2012

Post-NaNo Goals

Alrighty - so that was a month. Overall, I'm really tickled with my NaNoWriMo results this year. I've ended up with a viable first draft novel; something that not only doesn't happen every time I do NaNo, but doesn't even happen every time I win NaNo (I.e. sometimes I end up with 50,000 words that still don't make a workable story).

This time I have a story. I have not only a plot, but at least two or three viable subplots, and a nice major twist at the end - which, entertainingly enough was not the major twist I had planned. The twist I had planned is still part of the universe, but there was no good place within this book to put it, so I think it's getting moved to book two. The major twist for this novel didn't come to me until I was literally writing the conversation in which it appears. My two major male characters have a conversation right after the big final battle and in that conversation one of them dropped this bomb that I hadn't seen coming, but which makes total sense in context of both book and character. The ironic thing was that in the first iteration of this book, which I wrote several years ago, and which got stalled out a bit beyond the halfway point, this is the same character responsible for that stalling out. Very opinionated character there - if he doesn't agree with what's going on, he effectively refuses to do anything, but if things are going well, he helps push them along nicely. Well, maybe not nicely, Radik is not a nice sort of person really. But he's fun to write, and I think this second iteration of the book is a significantly better book than the first version would have been.

For the next couple of months, my writing goals will be to finish filling the plot holes and straighten out the currently somewhat wonky timeline in the first draft, so I can send it out to beta readers and with luck, get some decent feedback. I'm planning on putting 500-1000 new words per day on the draft, but probably not much more than that, since the structure/timeline issues need as much work as the filling in, and that's not likely to be adding much verbage.

For other goals this month, I have a lot of house cleaning to do, since things suffered mightily during NaNo, especially the last week, when post-Thanksgiving left me with 3000+ words/day to be written. Plus there's a lot of singing for church coming up. I don't know if I'll get anything soloish for Christmas Eve this year (which would be a disappointment, since I really, really would like something), but I can't complain too much if I don't, since the reason would likely be the sheer amount of solo singing I'm doing in Advent. There are enough people capable of doing solo work in this church that if I do four pieces in five weeks, it's likely to cause some upset, and that's understandable. It is a bit unfortunate in that it seems to be a reversion to an improved version of my problem under the last choir director, which was that he gave me solo work not because he liked my singing and wanted me to do solos, but because he would want certain things done, and I would be the last singer standing - the only one with the technical chops to do what he wanted to do. This new director seems to have more regard for me as a singer, but there's still an extent to which I seem to be getting the solo pieces because I'm the one who can learn a technical piece fast enough and reliably enough to do it on short notice, and he seems to fly by the seat of his pants a lot. In many ways I think I'd feel a lot happier doing fewer solos that were done more deliberately, and more because they suit me, suit the occasion, and are beautiful, than because "we need something for this Sunday, and the choir isn't ready. Cindy can you sing X?"

Next Sunday should be special, though. We'll be doing a piece for choir, bells, solo flute (Robbie!!!!) and soprano (me!). It will feel wonderful to get to do a piece for church with Robbie and I working together. He and I have both learned our parts separately. This week we need to start working together at home, so that by Wed. rehearsal it won't throw him to suddenly have the other parts there. Plus our director tends to not allow for a lot of rehearsal time, so the more prepared we are ahead of time, the better.


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