It’s Nearly That Time Again

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I’ve done NaNoWriMo before.  I hadn’t planned on doing it this year, but here I am, signing up a new account under my pen name, both because that’s Me On The Internet now, and because hell if I remember my old account info.  (I think I’ve had three different accounts over the five years I’ve participated.  The first time was in 2004, then I did it every year until 2007 but for some reason I lost my account info during that run and made a new one, then I made another new account when I came back in 2013.  I did not participate last year.)

I’ve “won” three times, which in theory means I’m sitting on three complete novels I could revise, edit, and publish someday.  Oh, if only that were true.  I actually only have the one I wrote in 2013.  I’ve lost my hard drive several times over the years and I’m often terrible about backing up my work.  (Have no fears, lovelies–What We Need to Survive is backed up like nobody’s business.  I would be thrown into a deep pit of existential despair if I lost it now.)

The idea of revamping my 2013 novel, a fantasy-romance, is definitely in the back of my mind.  I re-read it last year before I started WWNTS, and it’s got potential, still, but I’d need to hunker down and do some much more concrete world-building (I totally pantsed that one), some expanding, and a hell of a lot of polishing.  But it’s possible.  As long as I still have the original draft, it’s an option.

But on to this year’s plan!

Like I said, I hadn’t planned to participate.  I thought I’d still be bogged down in the publishing process for WWNTS–and I might be, if something else goes wrong.  But my goals for October, to clear the decks for NaNo, are:

  1. This weekend: finish the final re-read of the print format copy looking for any snags, and thus, know my final page count.
  2. Next week: contact a cover designer and get that ball rolling.
  3. While my design is being created: Outline (as much as I ever outline, at least) the major arcs of books #2 and 3.  Yes, both.  I was struggling for a good long while with getting anything concrete in terms of plot, I only had the themes I knew I wanted to address.  That need to be addressed by these characters if the story is to continue.  But a few things have fallen into place over the last few days, and now I think I’ll treat the rough draft of #2 and 3 as one long project (though I’m 100% certain where the break is) so I can keep them consistent.  Then I can tackle revising #2 and publishing it, then #3.  (I may be overly ambitious.  I can’t decide if this is brilliant or setting me up for a breakdown.)
  4. When I have my cover: actually create the damn book!  Then I’ll order my proof copy and get everything set up to launch…
  5. And finally, set up a giveaway for signed copies and probably another for ebooks.  That, I figure I can run in November while I’m also slogging along on the new draft.

Which puts my release date in early December, I think.  No, that’s not an official announcement, because I’m not daring to make that until I have a cover design to show off.  And since I spent more time formatting than I had planned to, because of a mistake I made that set me back, I know that things can take longer than planned, so I’m not going to promise anything yet.

But, tentatively, early December.

I’m excited.  Are you excited?  I’m excited.

And because I’m excited, have a tiny excerpt:

After lunch, Paul fell into step beside Nina. Well, sort of. He only took two strides for every three of hers, but she made no effort to move away, which he felt was progress.

She was silent.

He waited.

“I just met you yesterday,” she said after maybe half an hour without a word. “I’m not telling you my life story.”

Paul chuckled. “Didn’t expect you to.”

“Even after all the others did?”

“Nah,” he said easily. “Haven’t talked to John yet. Though Aaron told me some. Mark, neither, but Sarah talks plenty about him.”

“That’s certainly true,” she agreed with a hint of wryness.

With a glance down at his watch, Paul decided he would time how long it took Nina to break the silence between them again. He could be patient.

“So if you’re not trying to get me to tell you how I ended up here, what’s your plan for our little chat?”

Seventeen minutes. I thought it’d be at least half an hour. “Don’t have one.”

She looked up at him, the exasperation clear on her face. “I find that hard to believe.”

“I don’t mind if you don’t wanna talk,” he said, returning the look with the most guileless expression he could muster. “Not everyone’s a talker. I am, but if you’re not, that’s fine. We’ll just walk. It’s a nice day. We can just walk in the sunshine.”

She let out her breath in huff. While she didn’t say another word to him all afternoon, she also stayed beside him, instead of falling behind to the end of the line where she’d been all morning.

Progress.

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