Upping the stakes

I’ve now started preparing properly for nanowrimo. As I’m writing a sequel to a piece I wrote a couple of years ago, the first step has been to read through this original manuscript.

I’ve written up index cards for all the characters, drawn a few maps, and made notes of all the things I still need to work out about the world, such as whether one country has a caste or tribal affiliation system, how exactly it is governed and whether my character is actually captain of a galleass or a trireme as I appear to have used the terms willy nilly throughout.

Prepping for nanowrimo

This existing manuscript comes in at 45,000 words.

Nanowrimo challenges you to write a 50,000 word novel but the reality is that’s not really a novel. Standard novel length (if you want it to be saleable) is 80,000 to 120,000 words.

Fantasy novels are big. They’re not slim little literary tomes where nothing much happens but it’s all very prettily written. They’re generally full of big themes, life and death, nail-biting action, exotic landscapes and so many characters that many include a listing to help you keep track. You need a lot of words to fit all that in.

So, I need to aim for the 120,000 word mark for this whole novel. This gives me 75,000 still to write. There’s plenty of story left in the novel, so I’m not likely to run out of things to write.

Many people, once they’ve successfully completed the 50,000 word challenge set themselves more difficult goals. A tiny select band have actually managed 1,000,000 words in November but that requires wrists of steel, no job and a healthy dose of insanity.

It has to be pointed out that I am still currently unemployed, although I sincerely hope that state would not continue through the entirety of November. However, I have managed 50,000 words the last two years without wanting to kill myself and even completed a couple of days early. It might be time to up the stakes and I’d really like to get this novel finished.

75,000 words over 30 days is 2,500 a day. A nice round number.

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