Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Follow- Along- At- Home NaNo Novel

The eagle's beak in this outcropping of rock reminded me of writing. Chip away all the stuff that doesn't belong, add and polish as needed, and then you've got something.

Now what do I do?
I wrote a 50,456 word first draft of a novel last month. I had space aliens. I sunk the ancient, disputed continent of Mu. I killed off an MC in a cheesy cornball death scene. In short, I had a blast.
Best of all I learned a great deal including, but not restricted to, I have a novel in me. Whether it should stay there or be let out is moot; the bare bones of it are down.
I’m going to let it cure in some forgotten corner of the hard drive for a while. Then I’ll take it out and putty up the plot holes, sand it down, and then give it a good coat of varnish.
I will finish it into acceptable novel form. After than, I don’t know. I might send it out on a lark. I haven’t been rejected in a while and I miss the attention.
I did it for the challenge of it. I’ve tried to write dialogue in the past. It was awful. This made me learn. I am confident I still have a great storehouse filled with clunky dialogue in me, but I’ve found a way to empty it. I can only get better.
It was fun. I haven’t enjoyed writing for the sheer joy of it in years.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to find a way to avoid tinkering with the draft for a while. The only thing for it is to start another project. Is there a market for vampire westerns?


tokaiangel said...

I'm the market for Vampire Westerns. Are you serious? That sounds like the coolest thing ever.

I am with you 100% on needing a new project to take my mind off NaNo. I'm thinking a bonkbuster. I've never written anything remotely erotic or cheesy (always with the serious existential fiction and bleak dark comedy) so I might see if I can test myself that way. Try something new!

A vampire western. Imagine.

My trick for dialogue is sitting in a public place and listening to other people talk. Or reading screenplays or going on to get into the flow. Helps!


TA x

Leah J. Utas said...

Tokaiangel, I'm completely serious and I've already started on
"Biting The Dust."
What's a bonkbuster?
Thanks for the dialgoue tips. I'll check out the website. Thanks.

tokaiangel said...

Biting The Dust. AMAZING. You have to get this one published, because I'm buying it for all my friends next Christmas.

I can't believe bonkbuster is purely Brit phrase! To bonk, to fornicate? Hence bonkbuster - trashy sex book (think Jackie Collins et al)

Me and my Britticisms :0)

TA x

Leah J. Utas said...

Tokaiangel, thanks. Good to know I have some guaranteed sales.
And I would totally read your trashy sex book.

the Bag Lady said...

Haven't you started "Biting the Dust" yet? *drums fingers on desktop*
I am so looking forward to reading about vampires wanting to be cowboys (because, after all, who doesn't, in their heart of hearts, want to be a cowboy?!)

Leah J. Utas said...

Yes, dfBag Lady. I've started "Biting The Dust." Haven't gotten far, but I'll work on it some almost every day until I have a workable first draft. So far I have vampires playing poker.

Tom Rooney said...

I'm sure you could manage a midget, an Australian and a cruise ship in your western too. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Hmm, that has potential, Tom. Potential.

Erin said...

First of all I admire anyone that manages the 50,000 words, I get stymied way before then but I haven't devoted a real try yet, perhaps that's the problems.
I love the phrase "bonkbuster" and am definitely intrigued by a vampire western, the title is genius. Since the traditional idea of vampire is immortal, why couldn't they be in the wild west? Makes sense to me, *smile.

Leah J. Utas said...

Erin, thanks so much. I sure hope publishers feel the same way.

bunnygirl said...

Well, I've got a vampire rock star in my current WIP, so why not a vampire cowboy?

Throw in a few werewolves (or maybe werecoyotes) and you're golden! :-)

Leah J. Utas said...

Ummm, vampire rock star. Sounds delicious.
Love the were'yotes. Thanks, Bunnygirl.

Clare2e said...

Congratulations, Leah! Your NaNo-Along sounds like a great success!

yes, Yes, YES- vampire westerns! There are just a couple in various forms- Stephen King flirts, but there's not nearly enough for what feels like such a cool combo. Biting the Dust- I LOVE IT!

One of the best examples may be the great 1996 (too long ago) Robert Rodriguez movie From Dusk Til Dawn. It's violent and funny and great. In summary:

The Gecko brothers are bloodstained Texas bank robbers and fugitives who force the Fuller family (an ex-minister with 2 kids) to smuggle them across the Mexican border to a dusty outpost bar. While negotiating the price of sanctuary with the local scumbags, the brothers' new criminal compatriots are revealed as vampires. The only hope of freedom is for the Geckos and the Fullers to band together as humans first and fight to survive until dawn.

Look what you did, Leah. I'm going to have to rent it again now. Make sure BTD is ready when I'm done, okay?

Leah J. Utas said...

I'm giving it my best shot, Clare.
Thanks. If I remember I'll give that movie a look. Sounds exciting.

boots586 said...

I think that you should copywrite the title Biting the Dust before someone else rips you off. That is a great title for a book, movie or TV show.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks so much, Boots586, but titles can't be copyrighted. They're fair game for all

Charlie Hills said...

I came closer than ever this year to partaking in NaNoWriMo, but alas, it wasn't to be. I love hearing stories by winners!

Maybe next year for me....? Maybe...?

And "Biting the Dust" is pure poetry. Nice!

Leah J. Utas said...

Hi Charlie, thanks. I strongly recommend NaNo, even if you're just playing along at home like I did.

Reb said...

I am so proud of you! I know you are going to polish the NaNo project into a published piece and a Vampire Western! I can't wait! It sounds wonderful and I love the title.

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb, thanks very much. I didn't care for how I'd started it the other day so I scrapped those 1800+ words this morning and have written 1530 so far today. Can't wait to get back to it.

Thomma Lyn said...

Vampire westerns! hehehe You could create a new genre. :-D

Congratulations on your NaNo novel! It sounds like a blast. And I love your analogy of the rock outcropping to writing. How true!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thomma Lyn, good to see you out and about the blogosphere.
Thanks so much.
And writing the NaNo was a total blast.

Dawn said...

Congrats on finishing NaNo.

And "I haven’t been rejected in a while and I miss the attention."

Just love it!

Leah J. Utas said...

Dawn, it's so good to hear from you. Thanks very much.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

Conratulations on passing the 50,000 word mark and on doing it with such a cool project that the entire blogsphere is saying Hooray.


Leah J. Utas said...

dfTerrie, thank you so very much.