And Just How Is That Novel Going, Anyway?

I havenʼt bored you readers with any recent updates on the progress of my NaNoWriMo November novel, but as I have been very diligently writing all day long every time I am able (like both yesterday and Monday), and even with Janetʼs grudging permission churning out at least a few hundred words a day over the past weekend (on Sunday as she was wrapping gifts we will exchange with my side of the family at Thanksgiving tomorrow), I am almost done.

As I type this post, Tuesday evening, I have only 7000 words to go to make my requisite 50,000. Itʼs hard to believe that something which was just a vague idea in the back of my head not only has taken over most of my waking and sleeping thoughts (well, aside from obviously distracting medical issues recently) for a month (and really not any more days than that), but Slaves to the Lesser Moon has become the longest piece of writing I have done, nearly three times longer than the next most protracted pieces.

Not that 50,000 words — which according to lengths I read about years ago, really qualifies as a long novella in the science-fiction world — will complete my story, although I think I will be close or at a kind of cliffhanger climax once I reach that magical number. My full plot is beginning to seem as if itʼs twice or three times as long as the NaNoWriMo goal, which probably means I am taking the events too slowly. On Sunday youʼll be able to read the conclusion, at last, to Chapter 1, which is the average length I am shooting for per chapter, roughly 5000 words.

not my reptile humans, but itʼs astonishing how many "lizard men" Google turns up

As far as the story goes, Hunter gets zapped from earth via the Fairchild Device (and my chuckling apologies to my Fairchild friends and acquaintances, one in particular, for heisting your name for the story) at the end of Chapter 2. He spends Chapters 3 through 6 living on his own in the wilderness on Tsyriel, having all kinds of dangerous encounters and adventures. Chapter 7 marks his first meeting with a native Tsyrielean reptile-human, and he settles into that personʼs village in Chapters 8, 9 and 10. All of this is written.

In Chapter 11, excitement breaks out (there has to be a certain amount of exposition in learning the language and exposing the nature of the nomadsʼ society, so 9 and 10, the shortest individual chapters, are the least adventurous, although I also tried to leave an important plot element to reveal in that section); its working title is “Battle by Night.” And it may be the climax of that chapter, now that my word-count has risen so steeply, that ends the “novel” so far.

I actually have one major scene of about 1500 words written that comes significantly later than the big battle as well as some short fragments from even further on in the overall story (all of which are currently counting toward my full goal). Otherwise, I more or less wrote what I have in sequence, sometimes jumping ahead a scene or two when I felt bogged down or uninspired by the section I was really at, a technique that this month only inspired me to finish what I had lost interest in and fill in the gaps (so I will have to use the same system on things I have to write yet, both in this novel and other things).

I had a lot of fun yesterday making up the reptile-peopleʼs nomadic civilization and information about their language.

Anyway, thatʼs how the novel is going, not that anyone other than I really cares, I realize. Even The Lovely One is somewhat cooler than less-than-tolerant about this endeavor. But I have had fun. Itʼs been a blast actually writing up to 7500 words a day (more on a few days when I count the quotidian blog material, like this).

And with that, having run really verbose throughout last week, Iʼll quit for today, having vegetables to chop for stuffing and potatoes to mash all to be ready for the big Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.


(In reality, for me, itʼs 6:30 Tuesday evening, Janet just called, and itʼs time to make her lunch for today/Wednesday. But the same principle holds, and today/Wednesday I do have the turkey-day preparations to complete.)

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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