As you may be able to see above, I’ve managed to do something I don’t recall having done ever in Nano: consistently stay ahead of the curve for the whole month to date. By my count, I’m almost 8% ahead of the game at the halfway point … over two full days.
While there were a few days I didn’t get any writing done, I was always ahead of the game, so I never fell behind … meaning the “Current Debt” column was always positive … meaning I’m always in the black. Huzzah!
This is a good feeling, but there’s slightly more to it than that. I made a discovery. I’m not actually writing HEX CODE.
I’ve been writing the whole damn SPELLPUNK trilogy.
As I wrote, the story kept getting bigger and more bloated, while at the same time it was missing something. Threads left out. Pieces which didn’t quite fit. The magical computer virus of the title, the “hex code”, appeared in strangely spotty ways. And there were all these other threads, threads about the Werehold, the new werekin home.
I was thinking through how to fit these things together, and then started to notice something. I always had three titles in mind for the SPELLPUNK trilogy: HEX CODE, BOT NET, and ROOT USER (originally the last two were swapped, but whaddya know). And then I noticed: the first part of the book deals with the “hex code”, then later a “bot net” appears, then later, in the last part of the story … a “root user” appears.
Am I writing the whole trilogy? I asked myself. I pulled in the 700 words I’d written on the second novel. I reorganized some sequences. I started fleshing out more and more pieces. Finally, I allowed myself to write a sequence that I had considered dropping, when I thought I was writing just one young adult novel. But if this part of the book isn’t a part of a book, but an entire book in and of itself, that sequence was needed, was logical, was even demanded …
And 1400 words immediately popped out of my pen. (Well, keyboard, but you know).
So I’m even further ahead than I expected, not just on this month’s Nanowrimo thanks to this burst of creativity, but now on the next few years of my life. I knew I needed to get three books out in the next year – THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE, HEX CODE, and SPECTRAL IRON – and five in the next two years – PHANTOM SILVER and one or more sequels. But now, I’m closer to the end of HEX CODE proper than I’d ever thought I’d be, I have a huge jump on the sequels, these books will all be shorter than the 150,000 word behemoths that I’d been turning into Debra … and they’ll have an inter-book cohesion that I’ve never attempted before, but which falls out naturally from the nature of the story.
In short, the story gets to breathe … and so will I.
At least, that’s the theory. I still have five novels due in the next two years. So, back to Nano. I have almost 22,000 words to finish for this month, after all. But now I’m not just flying above the mountain; I’m soaring above it, rising on thermals to new heights. Now, beyond what I have due, I also have a ray of hope – and a plan for success.