More than two years ago, I wrote about the project that I was going to write for the 2014 NaNoWriMo. I sincerely stated that my goal with the project was to answer some questions I had for the characters but would not be more than 30,000 words.
Ha! It’s like I’ve never met me.
I completed the first draft of that project on 2 January 2017, more than two years after starting it. Now called Harmony in Three Voices this first complete draft clocks in at over 150,000 words.
It is the most complicated narrative I’ve ever attempted.
Taking three POV characters written in first person past and wrapping them in a second person present frame tale, I recount about 20 years of history of each of those three characters, tying those past events to their current conflicts. I wrote all three first person POV narratives completely, meaning some scenes were written down three different times, three different POVs, three different long chunks of text. Then came the frame tale, picking and choosing which parts of which narratives to keep, which ones to subsume into the frame tale, and which to discard outright as unnecessary. While I have over 150k in the parts I kept, I’ve discarded more than 100k.
Yep. I wrote two complete novels just to get one story.
I’m still not sure if it is “saleable” or of interest to anyone but myself. And yet? The “win” I mentioned in that old post certainly happened: I’m much more comfortable using Scrivener and discovered that I really could not have written the story I did with any other tool. But the bigger win was the risk I took in writing that story. I’ve never been as pressed, pushed as hard, as I was when I tried to figure out how to get it all to work. In truth, it might not work, but that’s almost less important than the attempt.
About the end of March I plan to begin editing that draft and I’ll know better then if it is something that I’ll try to sell, either self-pub or traditionally. By November of 2017 I hope to again do NaNoWriMo, getting a draft of a historical mystery down.