15/12/16

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Here we are, the final month of what has been a very interesting and heartbreaking year. I know I didn't post anything at all last month. Between NaNo, the election, and work, I was quite not into conversing much, and I was finding political discussions eating up more time than what I really needed to give to them.

So here are my NaNo results.

I ended NaNo with 38,501 words instead of the 50,000 needed to win. That's with everything from Ravensrealm typed up, transcribed, and added to. I did push myself as hard as I could to try and make the 50k mark. However, actually winning NaNo would have been just a nice bonus for me as I've won NaNo in the past. The challenge this year was to write while working 4-6 days a week and not get discouraged that I wasn't making goal.

My actual goal was to write every day. NaNo had participation badges, ones that I could assign for myself (rebel, caffeine addict, etc . . .), but they also doled out badges as well for hitting particular milestones - 1667 words, 5k, 10k, 25k, 40k, 50k and for writing X number of days in a row. I wasn't writing nearly as often as I wanted. NaNo helped to get me back on track, and that was the important thing for me.

Overall, NaNo was a win for me. I got what was on paper typed up, I've furthererd the story and connected what was on paper with what I had on Word, and the writing is going smoother now for it. Camp NaNo is coming up in April and in July. Depending on what I have lined up at those points, I may participate in them as well to get some other stories completed.

The word count isn't quite so important to me right this moment as it is getting the story completed. Ravensrealm is the third book in Arc of Fantasy, and, because of different main characters, I had to go back to the beginning, and these two characters, Alethea and Jordan, have been just as much fun to work with as Fen and the twins have been. To use the current McDonald's slogan, I'm lovin' it.

And that's a good thing. I have a strong sense of what I want to write as an author, and I've been sticking with it. I know some people are not as fortunate as I am when it comes to wanting to write but not having an idea of what to write. Some want to know who to target, what's actually selling, and so on.

My advice to these people who want to write but don't know what to write is this: analyze yourself. Are you an avid reader? What sections of the library and bookstore do you browse the most? Which authors do you type into Amazon? What kind of movies do you like? Crime thriller? Erotica? Romance? Science-fiction and fantasy? Action and adventure?

In my personal opinion, you cannot target a genre or a demographic (like audience) until you know what it is that you like to read. You are basically writing the types of books and stories that you would want to find on a bookshelf or on Amazon. Know yourself. Once you better understand what it is that you like to read and that you want to read, you can proceed from there.

I prefer science-fiction and fantasy as an author. The ages of the main characters isn't necessarily a deterrent from reading. I love the Harry Potter series, after all, and many of the works by Rick Riordan, and those are books targeted for middle grade and young adult. I will step outside of my preferred genre on occasion. The back of the book really has to snag me to get me to do that. But I prefer science-fiction and fantasy mixed with geek culture and Norse paganism. I'm writing the stories that appeal to me, that I would want to read, and that I would buy.
I'm not into riding a trend. If that were the case, I'd be writing erotic gay vampire romance stories where the vampires are at war with either zombies or young wizard children.

So analyze yourself. Know yourself as a reader first and foremost.

If you're looking to write a story to make a quick buck, well, play the lottery. You'll have a better chance of winning that than making a quick fortune writing a novel.

Happy Thursday to all!