Update, NaNoWriMo, And Bragging About Wordcount

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

October 28, 2012 -- 2:25 p.m.

Well, it's been awhile since I posted. Life has been hectic. My laptop got bathed in soup and I ended up in Seattle for a family emergency. Otherwise, things are going pretty well. The school I was going to decided to discontinue the grad program I quit, so I'm definitely not going back. Which means I have to decide to do new things. If I'm going to try for another grad degree, I'm going to try to find one that lets me move slowly. The bottom line is that writing is my first love. Any program that asks me to spend 50-60 hours doing something else is just going to make me miserable. I'm not sure how many part-time statistics masters degrees are available, but since I need to do some undergrad work to brush up my math skills, I'm not going to worry about that right now.

Unfortunately, Utah doesn't consider me a resident because I never bothered to get my vote registered. I know I should have for the local voting even if the bigger elections go straight R, but the local decisions Provo's city council and mayor have made depress me so much. Not only the actions they've made, but the willingness to make actions without considering their costs. When they decided to build a rec center, they only consulted biased sources. Nowhere in any of their presentations did you see comparisons to other local rec centers. No figures on how much the Orem one ended up costing and how much it would be used. From my calculations, it would have been cheaper to buy everyone in Provo passes to the Orem center for the next ten years or so than to build one in Provo. Or buy them a Gold's Gym pass. The local gyms were afraid that the rec center would cut into their business--which it will--and so the Provo city council promised that they wouldn't have things that would compete with the gym. So what does that leave the rec center with, other than an over-sized swimming pool? The marketing was also really shady. "Your taxes won't rise!" No, but they won't drop either. And to build the center, they demolished both the city's teen and senior centers, which, from the plans, they intend to include inside the senior center as one room. (Teenagers + old people. Best combo ever!) I didn't hear any comments from the administrators of the teen center in the process about how their stuff would be positively/negatively affected by the change.

Maybe the whole thing will turn out to be a big success instead of another iProvo. But even if it is a good idea, the process was really crappy. It points to the quality of the Daily Herald, Provo's newspaper, that the reporters never questioned any of the data. My grandfather was particularly incensed because the city council claimed 80 percent of Provo residents would use it at least once a week (based on a mail survey *SMACK!*) but the plans included a parking lot that wouldn't accommodate nearly that many people. That suggested to him that the Provo city council knew their numbers were absolute bunk but presented them as fact anyway.

Oh well, I shouldn't be fighting old battles. Especially since the battles are old enough that I might be misremembering the facts. (Huh--spell-checker doesn't consider misremember a word? Who programmed this thing?)

All my family crises seem to be mostly averted. The first draft of the two-year behemoth I was calling "Wyrmborn" is almost finished. The name of the book is "White War" for now, which is a much better title. Over August-October, I've broken out of my rut and written some 62,000 words. Not too shabby at all. At this rate, I should finish draft 1 by the end of November. I've signed up for nanowrimo under the user name 'Vegetathalas' (don't ask, it's a long boring story.) to help me in my quest. Not sure how long the book is total, since I've discovered the secret to productivity is to store my chapters in different documents so I don't go back and endlessly rewrite stuff. This means it's going to be quite a pain to put everything together. But that means I should have a draft I can bear to show people out by January. Yay!

After that, my tentative plan is to give Skin Farm one final revision and then start writing grouping/querying it. I know the YA post-apocalyptic market is pretty oversaturated, but I like Skin Farm enough that I can't bear to let it sit in a trunk without even trying to get it out there. I wish I had understood more about writing plot and my own personal writing process when I started that thing. I could have had it done ages ago.

After that, it's time to start on a new book. I've plotted out a YA superhero book about a girl mechanic who suddenly gains the power to control vehicle engines, but I'm sort of reluctant to write it because I know nothing about cars and it would mean a lot of research and finding someone with mechanic-y know-how to alpha read and point out all my mistakes. Either that, or I could go back to my first book and re-write it as a YA fantasy with a stronger plot, keeping the same characters but giving them clearer motivations, making the magic system more understandable, and starting out with one main conflict instead of the, like, thousands I introduced. Basically, simplifying. Also, making the Empire more hateful and the rebellion more effective. Or I could write something entirely new. I could even try my hand at short fiction.

We'll see what I feel like after I get the other two books in order. It's always possible that I'll have a book contract by then and so I'll need to start writing sequels. (Hey, a girl can hope!)