P.36: My, Um, NaNo Victory — a Space Opera



Somehow, I went the entire month of NaNo without blogging about it once.

But this, my second year, was another success.

Last year, I had mapped my entire novel out — a middle grade fantasy — and finished the entire thing. (Note to self: It’s time to get back on that project.)

This year, I decided to pants it, and after reading about mosaic novels shortly before November started, I thought it would be the perfect fit. And it was.

Mosaic novels are loose, and don’t necessarily follow a single character or plot line. Chapters can vary greatly, with different viewpoints or even different styles of writing (for example, I have a chapter made up of letters) and chapters can almost act as short stories that stand alone.


I knew I wanted to write my spin on a space opera, and this was actually a great fit for it. My story tells a tale between two powers — humans and an alien civilization — as they butt heads. The humans had won a major war between the two powers just a couple decades previously, but at a very steep cost — with millions lost.

My story takes place through the perspective of people around the universe as they witness, react or participate in major events or happenings, but it’s rarely a direct look at the action. It’s not Captain Picard on the bridge, it’s B’Elana Torres getting the engines back on board. It’s not Luke Skywalker going off to become a hero, it’s Aunt Beru worrying about the creeping Empire and if they’ll find her adoptive son. I’m aiming to give readers the full story, but by the people who are often most impacted by it, and those who fight desperately but may only be able to tangently help, or help in small ways.

I got my 50,000 words, but am not nearly done with the story. This one’s going to be at least 100,000, and probably a good deal bigger.

But I’m really happy with it so far, and am going to continue adding chapters throughout 2017.

P.21: 2 1/2 hours into NaNoWriMo and I’m 7.4% done! Woot, woot!

It’s 2:30am on November 1st as I write this, with NaNoWriMo officially kicked-off.
I need to write 50,000 words this month to win — and I’m already at 3,700 words (and I like what I’ve done so far!).

That’s 2 1/2 hours in and I’m 7.4% there — woot woot!

It scares me a little that my first 3700 words make up exactly 1 page in my 22 page outline. That projects out to 81,500 words in a genre (upper middle grade fantasy) that peaks at about 55k words.

The beginning of my outline should take up a bit more words because I have to do a lot of world building and character building, and some pages of my outline won’t be much longer than whatever I write for them in the book, but I’ll need to tighten this up.

Still, though, it’s a first draft, so I can do no wrong — and while I originally thought I had to finish the entire book in November to “win” NaNo, all I actually have to do is write 50,000 words, finished or not.