I am preparing for my first published book, A Taste for Death, to be launched via Amazon Wednesday, May 13, 2015, and as all writers do, I am crossing my fingers. Though this is not my first written novel, it is the one I decided to go full speed ahead in terms of editing and polishing. This novel was edited once before, then was read by a few friends, then beta readers, and again, touched up by another editor. This may seem a bit much, but this book definitely needed it, and I’ll tell you why.
The NaNoWriMo Workout
A Taste for Death was written a few years ago, during National Novel Writing Month. I wrote the book (or a shorter version of it) in only one month. I had some ideas peculating weeks before I began and knew which direction I was going. The characters weren’t fully developed by the time I finished it, but as they tell you, don’t stop, don’t look back, keep writing. Time is ticking away.
Well, the problem of writing continuously without stopping, looking back, editing as you go, is a lot goes on as you type. And this can be too many ideas, too many words, or even wrong words that eventually spell check will never get correct, such as conscious vs. conscience. Plus, during this month it is easy to forget if one character is a redhead or blonde (did she colored her hair, or how did it go from a short bob to shoulder length?). Keeping notes while trying to write 3000 words a day and holding a job is challenging.
Updating and Editing
After a few years of letting the novel sit, I am releasing it to the world, with scenes that were once deleted, added again, (always go with your first instinct). I am using Scrivener now, which I am told is the ideal software for writers. It holds chapters, scenes, and even pictures of characters for quick reference.
Besides keeping the characters in order, there are more improvements. There is more tension, more focus on certain characters and more background. This doesn’t include the plot, which is intricate and delicate enough to begin with, it is a murder mystery.
So for writers who want to write a novel in thirty days be warned. It is a wonderful but treacherous workout many writers do not finish. I did it and downloaded my online award (which I quickly threw in a drawer along with rejection letters). Just like any other workout when you start a new membership at a gym–you are disciplined about going and after a few weeks or months of a faced paced vigorous exhaustive routine–you crash. Well, those of us who are in love with writing will eventually fall into their own routine. I am not a gym rabbit, I do not workout every day. As much as I would like to say I do, I don’t write daily. But if I’m not writing I do think about plot, take notes, study characters, read books and articles, always juggling several stories in my head at once.
Crafting Your Own Schedule
It’s not a run, it’s a marathon. Someone told me books take time, some more than others, do not rush the process. If you haven’t written anything for a while, NaNoWriMo is a great thing just for the practice and to keep your blood flowing. Most finished works written in one month do not get published traditionally, with exceptions to blogs, or other fanfare sites. The challenge itself is great fun, and if it weren’t for it, my book may have not been written. But for the others in this series, they will not be written such haste. They will be crafted and polished the way I feel they should deservedly be.
You can pre-order A Taste for Death at a special price here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X6I8BQ8