Meri's Monthly Musings - NaNo Edition & December Plans


Welcome to the special December edition of Meri's Monthly Musings! This one is special because NaNoWriMo was quite an adventure and I have a lot of pictures this time around. You can click any of the collages to view the pictures larger. One piece of the adventure: I won NaNo! This was my first time winning a November NaNo since '14, so that's exciting! I ended up making my goal be 50 hours this month, logging 1 hour as 1000 words. I hit my goal on the 26th and ended up with 57 hours total for the month. Wonderfully productive!

...It's just that what I was productive with wasn't my original NaNo plan. It wasn't the first year where I ended up rebelling for NaNo and it's not going to be the last. ;) Being sick for a lot of October set me back a bit, so I wrapped up those projects before I started my main NaNo one.

November Projects:

Colorweaver (Book 1)✩ This was a huge milestone for me as an author because this was the first time one of my books had reached the point of printing out and going over. Over the past few months I've been going through the story to check for plot holes, out-of-character actions, general inconsistencies, and scenes that I could chop/combine/add. The third act of the book is mostly handwritten in a notebook and needs to be rewritten entirely, so that didn't make it into the print-out. That's why the second/middle picture with the binder clips doesn't have much for the third section of story.

As I was marking up the previous draft, I was also working on an index card outline for the next draft. This is chapter-by-chapter and is also separated by act (picture #1) and also by color. Each of the four POV characters have their own color index cards so this makes it easy to see who has a chapter when. I'm really confident about how the next draft of this book is going to turn out and I'm hoping this is the last time I need to rewrite chapters. After this draft I have my fingers crossed that I'll be able to start editing. My books have a bad habit of being the wrong story for two or three drafts before I finally catch what's supposed to be happening.


And speaking of books with a gazillion previous versions...
Sentinel (Book 2)✩ Once I was done book 1, I moved on to book 2! Sentinel has been through even more first drafts than book 1. I'm calling the draft I'm working on the third, but it's gone through at least two full drafts, a half draft in there somewhere, plus another three detailed outlines that never made it into drafts. I just couldn't nail down what this story was supposed to be about! A few months ago I had "finished" an outline that I was going to use for NaNo, but once November started and I got a good look at it, my NaNo plans changed. I realized that past-me had barely given myself anything to work with. The first act was solid enough, but the second two had barely any chapters fleshed out and the time travel subplot was basically nonexistent. So instead of writing the next draft, which had been my NaNo plan from the start, it became writing up a detailed outline for the draft, which is what I'd just wrapped up doing for book 1. 

I love this collage because it shows how colorful my writing supplies are. I've been a lot more productive with my writing since I switched from doing things on the computer to doing things on paper with lots of pretty color coding. One of these days I'll make a post talking about my handwritten system. :)

This outlining took most of November, but now I can say with confidence that book 2, after 4 years and something like 6 tries, finally is telling the correct story. I'm looking forward to diving into this draft!

December Plans:

  • Start the 3rd draft of Sentinel (book 2). December is generally a month where I don't get a lot done, but my goal is to keep trying to do something writing related at least an hour each day. I want to focus on this rewrite since I'm still super excited coming off the outline.
  • Series glossary. This is a thing I've been doing off and on for a few months and I'd like to start a page for it here on this blog to start getting the info shared. 
  • Moodboards. This is something I tend to work on if I need a writing-related thing that requires less brains than book stuff, so that's probably perfect for around the holidays when my brains aren't as readily available.


This post ended up super long, but I'm really happy about that because it means I got so much done this month! I didn't even get into the random brainstorming I've done for world building and later books in this quartet. November was definitely a productive writing month and while I know December is likely to be less so, I'm hoping to stay on track and keep the habit going into the new year. :)

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I hope everyone has a lovely holiday!
~Meri

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