Just to be clear, these are my final thoughts on the 2014 NaNoWriMo novel, and not, you know, my final thoughts as in ‘goodbye messed-up world’.
To wit, the next post has the complete text of my 2014 NaNoWriMo effort.
As per my current thinking on the matter of publishing my stuff here, the post is Password Protected.
In preparing for presenting the whole novel, I tweaked a few things, corrected a few things, and in general tried to make it as clean as I could. I am sure when I reread it in a month or two (and I will reread it), I will likely find more errors. For that I am sorry, but I only did one pass, and I concentrated more on formatting than on editing . . . unless it was something glaring, I probably missed it.
On the other hand, I fixed a few inconsistencies. Primarily due to me writing it on the fly, and to having to let the unfinished novel sit for the whole month of December, some things had crept in there that were not consistent throughout. I think I caught the major stuff.
I presume a new reader might find other things. Speaking of which, I think, but I am not sure, the novel had a total of four readers that stuck with it, and I’m not sure about one of them.
It does not matter as I already loaded it to my Kindle and will derive great pleasure in rereading it from time to time. For that alone I consider the effort a success.
By the way, this final cut has a different word count than presented before. The novel as is has 71,306 words.
So, what have I learned with my second novel?
First, I could, if I wanted, write six 70,000 words novels a year.
Second, I am still a lightweight.
Third, there is limited demand for what I write.(*)
Some other things:
– I think I am getting better at dialogue. Just my opinion, but there it is.
– I can usually take stuff that I wrote in one part of the novel and tie it in later, making it look as if I had planned it all along. At this rate, I have little incentive to outline. Unless, you know, I want to really do a good job.
– I still have a hangup about things turning out badly, as in ‘I rather not’. Not really anything new, as I also don’t like to read or watch anything that ends up being a downer.
Things I could have done but didn’t:
One of the reasons I went with the idea of artificial beings (Mechs, Hybrids) was to explore what it means to be human. I ended up keeping a light hand on the topic, figuring it would just bore people. I could have easily drawn on more moral and ethical conflicts and toyed with the idea that a constructed self-aware individual may be, fundamentally, more human than humans themselves. In the end, I opted to wave my hand over certain things, and completely ignore others.
Things I would do differently:
I wish I would have left Remo as human, and explore more the interaction between human and Mech. If people read the original first chapter, one can see that Remo is presented early on as surprised and awed with Raven. That is slightly out of character if, as presented later, he is a hybrid. The current version of the chapter removes some of that impression.
I think the relationship has the potential for more interesting exploration of human/mech interaction with Remo completely human. On the other hand, I wanted to avoid the cliche of the PI and Dame falling for each other.
I also should not have had Remo so narrowly constrained as to not have any real inner conflicts. However, I found it interesting exploring the idea of what is essentially a psychopath (or sociopath – sometimes the terms are used interchangeably) without feelings who nonetheless acts as a person should (with honor, honesty, empathy, etc.) not because they feel any of those things, but because they know they should. By the way, it’s difficult to write someone who has no feelings (everything we do relates to feelings). I hope I did OK, but I bet I slipped up here and there.
Finally, early on I introduced the idea of a backup for Mechs . . . that is essentially immortality. However, I only briefly touched on the cost factor. The average Mech might not have the funds to pay for a new body even if they had a backup. It would be interesting to explore the fact some might end up restoring in their old bodies, possibly with missing limbs, fewer functions, etc. As it is, a Mech getting killed is not a big deal, at least not as presented in the novel. They just come back. I touched on the fact that maybe they have to go through an approval process, but aside that, I left out a whole lot of possibilities regarding using a backup to restore someone, especially the implication it would have on humans who, until the technology integrates into humans, don’t have that option.
Just as in 2013, I enjoyed the NaNoWriMo challenge (though I finished both novels months after the deadline). It is very different thinking of a protracted arc when writing piecemeal and having no roadmap to follow. It’s exciting, especially when I come to a point and something new comes out of the page at me, and it meshes (or at least I think it meshes) with both what I have already written, and my intended direction.
It is very different from my short stories and flash fiction. Because I write so much short fiction, I think I don’t “flesh” out the characters, action, and plot as much as I should when I write a novel. I can get away with it in my short form writing, but am unsure how well it works in the novel.
As I read it I saw many places where I could have woven a finer and richer tapestry . . . on the other hand, I like the speedy read. When I read it, I get through it very quickly, which is something I like . . . “Stuff be happening” keeps me interested and wanting to go to the next scene.
Anyway . . . it’s done. One reader mentioned a sequel, but as of now I don’t “see” anything jumping out at me. Maybe in a month or two I will one morning wake up with a tremendous urge to take the story further.
Anyone wanting to read the novel, please shoot me an e-mail requesting the password, or leave a comment below to that effect.
As a point of information, asking for the password does not mean I will subscribe, or even read, your blog. It just means you get the password. Perhaps I might get curious and check you out, perhaps not.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
(*) this could be due to the fact few people read my stuff. The majority of visitors come for the photos.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.