Last November Leslie encouraged me to write a novel, based on the NANOWRIMO program, National Novel Writing Month. The premise is simple: start a novel from scratch on November 1st, and write an average of 1,666 words a day for 30 days for a total of 50,000 words, the same length as Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. It’s a free online organisation that’s there to inspire new authors to both start and finish their writing projects, and I recommend it to any aspiring novelists out there.
As an aspiring novelist myself, I duly took up the challenge. Except after 3 weeks, I’d written 50,000 words and my story was only just beginning. I eventually finished it on December 30th, 100,000 words later. Since that time, I’ve edited the manuscript twice, and am currently getting underway with the 3rd edit. Through the editing process my writing style has changed a lot…of course, I’m a beginner so I’m still experimenting with styles…and the genre has fluctuated from young adult to a darker, coming of age adventure for my protagonist, Tristan. The experts say that most successful novels are edited between 7-10 times. Hmm. I think that because I’m going to self-publish my novel, I will settle for 4 edits…maybe, but I’ve no doubt there will be more style changes and character developments as the editing continues.
The date I’m aiming to self-publish my novel is May 1st, a little over 6 months away. For the months of February, March and April, Leslie and I will be living in Paris, so what better place to get literary inspiration. If it was good enough for Hemingway, Wolfe and Fitzgerald, I hope it’s good enough for me too. Glad to see Ernie had his Mo on for MOvember, too.
A brief synopsis:
1960’s England, on a small, isolated island off the south west coast, an abusive man forces his wife to flee for her life. Tristan, weak and afraid, sets out into the world to escape his demons and search for his mother. But instead, what he finds on his tumultuous journey sends him to the brink of madness and self destruction.
Every few weeks from now until late April, I’ll tease you with short extracts from the text and introduce you to some of my characters. By doing so, perhaps one day you’ll want to read the completed novel?
Okay, back to the editing.