My plan for this month was simple. I was determined to finish the rewrite of Mistress Novel, getting all the scenes I rewrote together and figuring out what still needed to be written before I started the final polishing of this version. Simple enough, I thought, and just ambitious enough for the crazy month of December.
I was making good progress the first two weeks but, in putting the book together, it still felt like something was still missing. I remember reading some writing advice once that advised not saving the good stuff for a future book, to put it all in there like there would never be another. When I originally finished the first draft of Mistress Novel it was only the middle of NaNoWriMo so I had used the rest of the month to write most of a sequel that I hadn’t touched since then.
Long story short, I decided to graft what was the second book onto the first book as a second POV in the spirit of that advice. In the big picture, I think it’s going to be a good thing for the book as a whole but, in the short term, it means a heck of a lot of rewriting and plain old writing since now I’m adding what amounts to first draft stuff into a polished draft and basically make a huge mess of everything. But now all the best stuff should be there in one book!
The bulk of my word count this month was from all that writing and rewriting. When it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the draft by the end of the month, as was my plan, I decided to take a little break from it and work on something else for the holidays. I’ve been thinking a lot about the universe that Polar Twilight and New Year’s Thieve take place in and wanted to revisit it. I’d been toying for a while with the idea of rewriting one or both of those plays as a short story and decided that was the perfect little project for my Christmas Eve writing session. I figured it would be a quick thing to write since I was just adapting something I’d already written.
As often happens, the muse had other ideas. I sat down to adapt Polar Twilight into a short story and found myself aging the entire cast of characters down to grade schoolers and writing over 6,000 words of a middle grade novel in under 48 hours. I wasn’t planning on adding yet another novel to my already far too long list of works in progress but I’m certainly not going to stop myself from writing a story that’s just spilling out of me as easily as this is so I’m just going to roll with it. I don’t know if it’s got a future but it certainly feels like it might be something so I’m cautiously optimistic.
What I’m find the funniest about this Surprise! Random Book situation is that adapting my own work is really the best of all possible worlds. I’m still doing an adaptation, which I love for a variety of reasons (such as the fact that it’s like working off an outline without my having to actually stop and outline), but because I’m the original author, I don’t have to get bogged down in research or worrying about original intent. And all the big stuff, like theme, characters and setting are already there and I have the freedom of just giving them a new space to play in. We’ll see where it goes.
The only downside to the fact that I just added another random WIP is that my plan for the year was to focus on getting the old stuff polished and published over starting new stuff. I’m not specifically opposed new ideas, I’ve just got so many projects that are THIIIIIIIIS close to ready for sale that it seems dumb to focus on something new when this thing over here is so close to being finished. But, at the same time, it’s somewhat comforting to know that the well of ideas is so full!
In the meantime, a little irony: I changed my entire writing system for the year because I never get that much writing done during December. I also took almost a week off from writing at the start of the month to catch up after NaNoWriMo. Fast forward to today when I’m on pace to hit 50,000 words for the month. Hopefully writing this post won’t jinx me… there’s still a lot of days left before the end of the month. But if I hit it? That would be something, wouldn’t it?