As we’ve just passed through the half way point in NaNoWriMo I thought today was a good time for a little update. As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, I have absolutely no intention of hitting 50,000 words by November 30th. Not even close. Between running Books and Beyond Reviews and working full time, that is a non-starter. I wanted to make use of the month for other reasons. My first attempt at a novel, Our Boy Jack, was a stop-start-stop-restart mess that I spent two years procrastinating and dithering over. With this novel, Chasing Shadows, I wanted to develop better habits. The aim with NaNoWriMo is to target writing something daily. Most days have been 300-500 words. My worst day was just a touch over 100. My best day, today, topped out at 1572 words. But the main thing is I’ve written daily.
The other goal was to write more than I ever achieved with Our Boy Jack, and to eventually end up with a completed first draft manuscript to take away and edit, rework and refine. To date I am working on my eighth chapter, with 10031 words written. I feel great. I know the story is rough right now, and may not be anything much to rave about, but even if it’s awful, if I can finish it, that alone will be an accomplishment.
I haven’t as yet done a great deal of hardcore steampunk world building, and that’s because so far the locations haven’t been nearly as important as the action. But in upcoming chapters that I can see looming over the horizon, one or two of the locations are far more important so I am going to have my work cut out making sure they feel alive. And as if writing your first novel isn’t enough of an undertaking, some very vague, loose ideas for a possible follow on novel have begun to bubble through my mind, so I may need to scribble them down fast before they fade. In the mean time, I thought I would share some of my inspirations. In Chasing Shadows, my cast pilot a vast airship called the Arcos. I found a picture that spoke to me, and was the inspiration behind how I envisioned the Arcos. It comes from a cover design for a book called The Exile’s Violin by Robert Hunter. The artwork is by sensevessel.