Saturday, December 4, 2010

How a Saturday Writes a Book

Or: A Glimpse Into Why I’m Insane

Warning: This is probably going to be a long post. Also, I might not be here right now. My town’s doing this festival thing Friday and Saturday so I’m not sure if I’ll be around or not.

June or July 2009: Had a dream that inspired an idea for a werewolf novel. Wrote it down. Had the idea linger so much that I started writing scenes and scenes and eventually it decided it wanted to be a novel. I run with this. (There was a novel thingie before this, but it wasn’t going anywhere and was frustrating and I decided it was time to retire that.)

Probably right around this time, maybe a little bit before or a little bit after, had another dream which eventually became the basic idea for Spyder. I can’t remember the exact month, but it was definitely early 2009, probably spring. But at the time I had the idea, I jibed more with the werewolf novel, so I just let it simmer.

For the next… oh, six months or so, I write the werewolf novel. During this time, I write about three scenes of Spyder, but at that point it didn’t have a title. And my MC didn’t have a name. And one of the major characters hadn’t even made an appearance.

On, erm, December 18th, 2009, I finish The Werewolf Novel at 42, 749. (I know it’s short, I’m still calling it a novel. Since it only exists on my hard drive, I have that right. *snicker*)

Since I wouldn’t let myself jump into revising, I fooled around with a possible sequel, but that was mostly just for fun and only got to 11k or so. That petered off, not in a crash in burn way, but in a “what the heck am I doing writing a sequel when I’m barely done the first book” way. That went til about the end of January, I do believe.

At the end of December (2009), however, I did have the goals of revising book one, and finishing book two, and “maybe work on spidervamp if I have time.” (It was a nickname. I didn’t know enough about it at the time to give it a good title. I know how cheesy it sounds, but it was NEVER going to be permanent.) I didn’t plan on explaining or working on it until late 2010.

So, where are we now? Right, January 2010. Working on the “sequel” to The Werewolf Novel til that peters out, then revising, revising, revising The Werewolf Novel, blah, blah, blah. During this, I’ll admit Spyder was on my mind quite often, especially Sebastian, and I read over those few scenes I’d written a bunch of times when bored, but I was busy since I was rewriting The Werewolf Novel and sending to a beta reader 3 chapters a time.

In March, 2010, I tweeted a random teaser sentence featuring Sebastian and got a really good response, and I think that’s about when I realized how much I liked those characters. The MC still wasn’t named at that point, though, and I wasn’t quite ready to write it, so I let it simmer and kept revising. (And rewriting – rewriting was slow.)

Around April or May-ish, I think I finished my rewrites, but my beta got super busy, so I wasn’t doing much of anything besides irritating her. :P I read some, but basically didn’t know what to do with myself. Tried a couple of other projects, but nothing clicked.

Then on June 3rd, 2010, I started a document for Spyder and started writing. In the middle of this, my beta’s crits came back, but I barely bothered reading them because I was so engrossed. I went away for a couple days in the beginning of June and didn’t write, and that irritated me quite a bit. Got so engrossed in it that I didn’t read, didn’t really go anywhere, just wrote and wrote and wrote.

Do bear in mind that I don’t work in the summer because the library hires a summer student, so I had a lot of free time to totally mess up my schedule and not sleep and basically live in the book. I don’t particularly recommend this route.

On July 7th, 2010, I finished Spyder at 61K. (Not sure of the exact number, I didn’t write it down.) That day, I added about 2k reading through the final draft (and things like last names…) and the total final count was 63,601. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep that day, so I might have done some small amount revising the next day just to tidy up any typos.

Around maybe the 8th or 9th, I sent it to a friend of mine to read and since it was summer and she didn’t have school, she read it superfast and between her getting back to me on the 12th or 13th, and the 25th of July, I got up to 73k.

Around July 29th, I sent Spyder to my crit partner and (again, because it was summer), she also read it superfast, but she took longer to get back to me because she really critiqued it awesomely and that takes a while. I revised, yada yada, and sent a much cleaner, tidier draft back to her. That’s the draft she has right now.

Now, it’s summer so I didn’t have a lot to do. Insert lots of reading and reviews, contest entering, an empty Google Reader and me cleaning several rooms in my house. Basically I was bored out my mind. I played with a couple of ideas, nothing clicked (does this sound familiar?), and I tried to write #TheGenieBook from like late August to early October, but that was a hot mess that fizzled out mid-October. I’d still like to write it someday, but that someday isn’t now.

Then around… oh, the first or second week of October, a certain somebody told me I should do NaNoWriMo. I, of course, had no idea what to write about. Then I’m barely awake and the first line came to me. I wrote it down (but nothing else, because that’s against the rules) and researched like crazy, plotted, thought about character stuff.

On October 30th, I woke up with a fever so bad that my head was splitting, I had chills, rolling over took me like a full five minutes… and I had a cold until November 10th or 11th. I stuck it out, though, writing as much as I could, each day. And I was doing pretty good – then I got sick again. November 21st, to be exact. Had another fever, the cold came back and I ended up on antibiotics.

I gave up on winning NaNo and let myself be sick. Read a lot, watched movies, and didn’t write for five or six days. (Honestly, I’m amazed I wrote at all the first time I was sick. Something about the combination of the general icky feeling and the cold medicine makes the words not come right.)

I’m not giving up on the NaNoNovel, though, because I do really like it. I’ve worked on it the last couple days, just not at as fast of a pace as I would have, and I have a feeling I might finish the first draft soon.

So! This is how a Saturday writes a book. I do not recommend this process to anyone, because it’s ever so slightly INSANE, but it works for me.

Any questions? :P

Peace and cookies,