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Noveling in May.

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Noveling in April

Starting a new thread!

I don't have a whole lot to show for myself. I did complete the short story I've been devoting the bulk of my time to. I don't think I've ever had a story get away from me like that one did!

I took a little mini-vacation in Del Rio this Spring Break and came back knowing I wanted to write a story set there. It's a real atmospheric place, shall we say. The story is set in "my" universe & stars the main character from my book. It's set much after the novel, and gives away something (that, really, is going to be kind of expected from the novel). I'm going to let it sit a few days, get it into second draft form, and put it up on the internet. I did promise y'all would get to read it. I started out with one idea, took it in a slightly different direction from that, and then at the end it managed to run off into something I did not see coming! And that is all I will say about that, until I get it up.

This coming week is finals week. I'm looking for a summer job but if I don't land one I will make the novel my main occupation aside from motherhood. I also want to see if I can find a home for the short story.

How are things coming for everyone else?
post #2 of 33
Today was pretty awesome as far as writing goes. I needed an awesome writing day. I've been working on getting us into a rhythm around here so I can have more uninterrupted writing time. Before our daily life looked like partially organized chaos.
I've decided to cut back on blogging to devote more writing time to the novel. I probably will never get anywhere career wise with blogging anyway, so 4 days a week should be enough.
Today, I wrote 2 blogs, and around a thousand or so words on the novel. I did a word count before today's writing and am around 12,000 words. That's more than I thought I had! If a novel is 50,000, I'm almost a fourth of the way there.
I'm starting to think I might have too much going on in one novel though and may need to cut back - consecutive pregnancies, new marriage, jealous wife, house fire, new job, deadbeat dad returning after child is an adult, secrets, etc... Too much?? When I got into this I thought since it would be so long I'd need a lot to work with, now I'm having a hard time getting it all in there. This doesn't even include how the characters develop or the events in the ending. Yikes!
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
That does sound like a lot. But if you are careful to avoid cliches, it can work and work well. Just choose what you will emphasize & remember you can always leave an occasional loose end (after all, things don't tie together neatly in real life) and there's nothing wrong with setting yourself up for a sequel.
post #4 of 33
We are almost done with chapter 4. I got a little distracted this month, two of my dc had some health issues that needed my undivided attention. We still have not found a buyer for our property that will pay our asking price so dh is still working outside the home, wish us luck there we desperately need it.

eastkygal could your book maybe be expanded on and made into several books instead of the one? Then instead of trying to cram the information down you could add more.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
Today was pretty awesome as far as writing goes. I needed an awesome writing day. I've been working on getting us into a rhythm around here so I can have more uninterrupted writing time. Before our daily life looked like partially organized chaos.

If a novel is 50,000, I'm almost a fourth of the way there.
I'm starting to think I might have too much going on in one novel though and may need to cut back - consecutive pregnancies, new marriage, jealous wife, house fire, new job, deadbeat dad returning after child is an adult, secrets, etc... Too much?? When I got into this I thought since it would be so long I'd need a lot to work with, now I'm having a hard time getting it all in there. This doesn't even include how the characters develop or the events in the ending. Yikes!
Good for you on the awesome day. I, too, am trying to get into a rhythm around here. A novel, however, is not 50k. That is a novella. A novel is 80k - 100k from what I have read. I'm nowhere close to that yet, but that is what I have seen here and elsewhere. so keep that stuff coming.
post #6 of 33
I've always thought that over 50,000 was novel. 20,000 -50,000 is novella. But whatever. If I have to do 80,000-100,000 I can make all that work no problem I believe. Whatever comes of the word count it will be what it is. I'm not striving for a certain amount of words. Just a complete story. The novel is actually a continuation of short story I've written. I just loved the characters.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
I'm starting to think I might have too much going on in one novel though and may need to cut back - consecutive pregnancies, new marriage, jealous wife, house fire, new job, deadbeat dad returning after child is an adult, secrets, etc... Too much?? When I got into this I thought since it would be so long I'd need a lot to work with, now I'm having a hard time getting it all in there. This doesn't even include how the characters develop or the events in the ending.
If the characters are engaging you can get away with writing a soap opera. I love the Outlander Series, which may have all of the above story-lines going.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyClaire View Post
If the characters are engaging you can get away with writing a soap opera. I love the Outlander Series, which may have all of the above story-lines going.
It does sound like a soap opera. It's actually written to be Appalachian literary fiction. Somewhere in there is lodged comments on humanity and society.: I've never read the Outlander Series. I'll have to look that up.
post #9 of 33
I'm not noveling - rather more like 'memoiring' and I haven't written a word in several weeks as life has been in upheaval over family health and other things.

But now I have my writing space all set up and I'm ready to throw myself into this. I have even selected the prize I hope to enter for Sept 1 this year, so is this a fiction-only deal or do you have room for a memory-writer among you?
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by enfpintj View Post
Good for you on the awesome day. I, too, am trying to get into a rhythm around here. A novel, however, is not 50k. That is a novella. A novel is 80k - 100k from what I have read. I'm nowhere close to that yet, but that is what I have seen here and elsewhere. so keep that stuff coming.
From what I read, it depends on the genre. This is the list I found (you'd have to check around for accuracy but it came from a published writer's site):

ya: 45,000 to 62,500 words 180-250 pgs
scifi: 65000-85000 and up pgs 260-340
fantasy: 80000-120000 pgs 320-480
mainstream: 85000-110000 pgs 340-440
romance: 50000-85000 pgs 200-340

post #11 of 33
Thats the list I've seen, too. I always think about different famous books and their word counts- The Great Gatsby, for example is 50,000 (approx.) But then, something like Lord of the Rings is more like 300,000.

I think going for the story is the most important.

I'm such a big fan of NaNoWriMo's 50,000 challenge because it stretches you into novel territory for a first draft, then they encourage you to expand and edit.

This being said...I should be writing...
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Took me a while to find this since it's been pinned!

I think the genre list is fairly accurate. There are certain writing conventions in one genre that probably won't spill over into another: imagine The Great Gatsby written in the style of LotR! Fantasy is really a world unto itself. If you're writing high fantasy you can get away with things that would never be allowed in other genres, especially a glacially-slow pace.

Fitzgerald was basically writing pop novels. They were very au courant and linked to their setting. Though most of us have read The Great Gatsby, none of his other novels weathered nearly so well. They were best sellers in their day, though.
post #13 of 33
Yeah, I read literary fiction mostly and when I think of my favorite novels few of them reach the 400 page mark. Has anyone seen a bracket for literary fiction? It probably varies so much that there isn't a set amount of pages. I think that is why shooting for 50,000 words as cdmaze was saying is a good springboard.

I posted a little about my novelling journey in the regular forum. I'm stuck and need a push, if anyone would like to offer their thoughts.
post #14 of 33
Mother's Day marked a good day for writing for me - DH kept the DC occupied for three hours! that's just what I wanted. And I started a new blog - The Green Mamas - with my beautiful SIL...

edited chapter three!

on to chapter four....:
post #15 of 33
I've begun my writing schedule which I anticipate will see me with a finished first draft memoir by the end of July. Hopefully that will give me time to edit before submission deadline on Sept 1st. Only need three polished chapters and a synopsis but standard must be high. Wish me luck!
post #16 of 33
I am now over 3/4 finished with my first draft ever! Still writing by hand and have no idea how many words or pages I have. It has taken me three months, loving almost ever minute of the writing.

Question: I know there will be lots of rewriting. If there is a main character who isn't coming off of the page as well as the others, have you found that it helps to write some of the chapters first person from that bland character's point of view? I'm willing to try if I can get a better feel for her that way.

eastkygal - what are some of your favorite literary fiction books? I need some good stuff to read while I'm writing.
post #17 of 33
Anything by Silas House (he has three novels will soon have 5). The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow. Toni Morrison's work is great. The Midwife's Tale by Gretchen Kaskas. River of Earth by James Still is a beautiful work. To Kill a Mockingbird. I could go on for days I suppose.

So, what do you all read while novelling? How much time do you devote to reading while in a major project? Do you read novels, short stories, nonfiction?
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Question: I know there will be lots of rewriting. If there is a main character who isn't coming off of the page as well as the others, have you found that it helps to write some of the chapters first person from that bland character's point of view? I'm willing to try if I can get a better feel for her that way.
Well, I can't stand shifting POVs in a novel (just had to read Alias Grace for English class, and I hated that sucker so much I sold it to the bookstore for $1--happily). And I wouldn't put something in a novel I knew I'd have to take out later.

What I would do is write a short story featuring that character. Send her off on her own & see what she gets up to. That might be first person, & you might wind up liking the character better.

Quote:
So, what do you all read while novelling? How much time do you devote to reading while in a major project? Do you read novels, short stories, nonfiction?
Oh, I read all the time. I need to get on the waiting list for the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel at the library. I read when I'm somewhere I can't write easily, or when I don't feel like writing. I'm a bookworm. When it comes to fiction I mostly read within my own genre--that's why I'm writing it, because I enjoy it. Nonfiction for me is usually political or memoirs. I've got books by Mike Huckabee & Ted Nugent floating around, though I can't get into either of them. (Nugent, for one, writes exactly like he talks. It's exhausting.)
post #19 of 33
Thanks for your book recommendations.

I can't seem to stop reading while novel writing. Here's what I've read in the last month or two (other than all those kids books):

Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout (good writing but reads like short stories instead of a novel)

The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction, by Barnaby Conrad (not recommended, try John Gardner instead)

The Family Man, by Elinor Lipman (funny)

On Becoming a Novelist, by John Gardner

The Art of Fiction, by John Gardner

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, by Alexander McCall Smith (good for a dark mood)

Wishful Drinking, by Carrie Fisher

Nickel Mountain, by John Gardner

The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton

I tried one chapter in first person and she was even more pathetic than usual --- drunk too. Maybe I will try a short story from another time in her life (pre or post alcoholism). Thanks for the tip.
post #20 of 33
I've pushed through this writing lull and I have 20,000 words now. I don't know if it's much good, but it's okay. I want to get as much done on this novel before we leave on the 29th for New Echota and Walden's Ridge to research my other novel based on the life of my great great grandmother. I hope that working on getting that one started will make me fresh to work again on this one when we return. I'll probably work on both of them at once for a time. I wonder how that will go. I think the one I'm researching for will be the easier to write. It's more cut and dry... not so reliant on character thoughts.
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