It’s Official! I’m Doing NaNo!

Typewriter and file cards
CC 2009 mpclemens

Way back in 2007, I pitched a book to Charles Ardai of Hard Case Books hoping he would back me out of doing NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, that’s National Novel Writing Month, November, wherein you get 30 days to churn out a complete novel, minimum 50,000 words. So I pitched to Charles and asked him to talk me out of it. Instead, I wound up writing a book called Road Rules on a dare in 13 days. I swore never again. In an age where fast writing is the norm, 30 days is too short a time to do a 75-90 thousand-word novel. Road Rules itself is 55,000 words, which explains why it never got picked up.

Then we have Storming Amargosa. The first draft was screenplay, which led to a 60,000-word second draft. Too short. So I rewrote it. The resulting mess was about 90,000 words. I needed focus. And ended up with 140,000 words. Someone suggested splitting it into two books, but the story gets so unfocused toward the end that splitting it really wouldn’t help. Already, after one pass, I realized I needed to narrow the POVs down to four, with the odd side trip.

With The Children of Amargosa and Second Wave being over 70,000 words in length, a 60,000-word finale is unacceptable, but a 140,000-word behemoth from a trilogy that remains somewhat obscure will not go over well. So can I do a 90,000-word novel in 30 days?

Sure! Why not? Half of it already exists. So some of this is copying and pasting. Of course, many of the scenes from the earlier drafts will need to be rewritten. Amargosa will only be from Davra and the new Gelt overlord’s POVs. Marcus Leitman, the weasel responsible for starting all this, will show us what’s going on beyond Amargosa. And when we last saw JT, he, Duffy, and Suicide had just escaped to Hanar, so much of the liberation effort will be seen through JT’s eyes. Much of this is written. It simply needs to be rewritten to fit in with a streamlined storyline.

Will it work?

Hell, I once wrote 55,000 words in 13 days. I think I can do 90,000 with a head start.