National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) concluded with the sunset of November and I am pleased to report the effort was (mostly) a success. I did not reach the 50,000-word count that was the given goal of the project. I did, however, get my entire screenplay adapted and I was able to find time to work on the novel 26 of the 30 days. Coming up short on the word count bothers me a bit, but only because I don’t like coming up short on measurable goals like that. C’est la vie.
What’s next? Rewriting. A lot of rewriting. I’m pleased with the story and plotting, but there is work to be done on the prose. I think of it as building a house. The foundation is laid, and the walls are up, but now the walls need to be painted, and the details added that turn the house from a structure to a home. This task feels a bit daunting – eloquent prose is not my strong suit. But I’m learning to be patient with myself and take it one sentence at a time. I’m also watching lectures on building great sentences from The Great Courses hoping the information will absorb and help inspire my writing.
I shared the first couple chapters of my book with my writer’s group. They provided some helpful feedback and also inspired the idea that I should consider turning this into two books. One of the biggest critiques of the screenplay is that readers aren’t sure who the audience is. Half of the story is about a kid in a fantasy world, which has appeal for younger audiences. The other half of the story is an adult drama that feels more appropriate for mature audiences. While no one would consider making two movies about the same story for two different audiences, one could publish two books for two different audiences. One book would be the story, as is, targeting adults. The second book would remove the adult drama and expand on elements in the fantasy world. Both stories end up in the same place. The only difference is how the reader gets there.
Though it is fun to think about the possibilities, I know there is still a lot of work ahead of me. I believe the story is worth it. It is a story that needs to be told, so I will do my best to help it find its audience.
A WRITER KEEPING THE FAITH IN LOS ANGELES