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Entries in WWolf Creek (2)


The wonderfully crappy first draft

November has come to an end and so has my first draft of Wolf Bane, the sequel to Wolf Creek. Despite limited writing time, pestering children and holiday preparations, I managed to eek out 50,000 words. Furthermore, I was able to get to the end of my outline. Add the 7500 words I had already written and I've got a good first draft.


Not exactly. Even while writing I could see the numerous plot holes, character inconsistencies, and scant descriptions. Andrea disappears for about a third of the novel. Everyone's romance is way too easy.

But that's the beauty of the first draft. It can be as horrible as it needs to be as long as I get to the end and have something to edit.

The next phase of writing will be to redo my outline - did I mention I added in a few POV's? Then rebuild it so that I've got a story that actually makes sense.

While writing, my brain was consumed with other potential novels and writing projects. December will be a break as real life takes over once again. In the New Year, I'm determined to set aside some time each week to write. Thanks to some writing partners I might actually get out of the house and write.


Writing Wolf Creek Part 3 - The First Draft

The month of November became my favorite month when I discovered NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is worldwide event that challenges everyone to write 50,000 words in one month. Some people write a million words. Some people only write a few hundred. There is an extensive community both online and in the real world that comes together every November to celebrate writing.

In 2007, I discovered NaNoWriMo after a local author put up a flyer to organize a writing group around the event. We started off with some two dozen authors at the first meeting. I was thrilled to finally be getting together with other people who loved to write. The organizer had even has his own success with publishing a novel and wanted to rekindle his writing enthusiasm.

Since then I've participated in NaNoWriMo nearly every year either writing a novel from scratch, continuing a novel I was in the midst of or editing. Nothing makes an author focus like a deadline and I took my November deadlines seriously.

I was busy writing my trunked dark fantasy series when NaNoWriMo came around after I had written the outline for Wolf Creek - then called Alpha and Omega. I'm horrible at titles and often use place holder titles - and even characters - until after the first draft. Gavin was first named Davin. The park ranger Ned started out his existence as Ed. 

In 2012, I dusted off my outline of Wolf Creek and started the month typing.

My time for writing is limited. Between work, commuting and socializing, I have less and less time to write. Often my commute is dedicated to writing when someone else is driving. Evenings were another good time to write. I aimed for 1200 words a day. Weekends were my make-up time.

This was the first time I had ever written a novel from an outline. Sometimes I would get stuck or my outline felt inadequate. Sub plots were added along the way. If I reached an impasse, I just started on the next scene. With a 50,000 word deadline in mind, the internal editor gets locked in a closet.

Three weeks into writing, I realized I actually didn't have an ending. Worse, I realized that my central conflict was not all that interesting. I needed a bigger bad guy. I needed more obstacles. I also realized that I didn't know my back story as well as I needed to.

Out of outline, shy of 50,000 words by several thousand, I started writing backstories for the Amazons, my guardians of humanity from the evils that go bump in the night. I wrote about the origins of the Silverbane pack and how werewolves along with the other tainted creatures came to be.

Anyone who has read Between Love and Lust will know my fondness for politics and history. I blame Colleen McCullough's Master of Rome series. Sadly, she passed away in January of this year. She took the complexity of Roman politics and brought it to life. Unfortunately, my attempts at politics and mythologies often ends up a convoluted mess.

By the end of November, I reached my word count goal but I was still a long ways away from a completed novel.

Next time, I'll talk about the all important step of walking away before coming back to revise and edit Wolf Creek.