So, I began writing my novel, Love, Lies, and Clones, February 17th with a goal of writing one scene per day (about 1000 words per day.) At first, I thought the novel would go on and on forever. Now, I’m 45,000 words into it and it appears it will be wrapped up in the next week at maybe a total of 55,000 words. (Yeah, just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo to start – Crap!)
Now I worry my novel will not be long enough. I did a test editing/review of the first two chapters and it looks like I’ll add about 20% to it by just fleshing out my skeletal writing… (With a goal to NOT add meaningless description for the sole purpose of increasing word count.) So that puts me at 66,000 words, which is still about 30K short of my goal of 95K.
So then what? I started doing my research on how to lengthen a piece of writing and brainstorming on my plan for April’s Camp NaNo. Again, I don’t want to lengthen it for the sake of word count, but to ensure I have a full story with meaning. Here are the ideas I came up with.
- Watch for “telling” and not “showing”. Expand things that seem to be a summary of what happened to tell the whole story.
- I know I have a few of these scattered throughout the book.
- Add a subplot: Something that will align and add to the overall theme of the piece.
- I have a subplot or two… But they are probably underdeveloped and I know I could elaborate on them some. Maybe I’ll find a new one in the editing process that will help tell the story. I need to be careful that I don’t end up with too many of these as well.
- Character development: Add characters that help portray other characters, add character traits, add scenes to better show character relationship.
- I think I could add a friend or two for my main character, she currently does not have any friends referenced and this isn’t very believable. Also, I may play with some flashbacks to show how it was to grow up as a clone and to better portray her relationship with her father.
- More locations, more action: Expand where the novel takes place, add more conflict and more action.
- Since my novel is a type of mystery/thriller I could definitely throw some red herrings into the mix that would still add to the overall novel. Perhaps even align with a subtheme.
- Add some side conflicts: what else is going on in the character’s lives besides the main conflict?
- Again, I hint at these throughout my first draft, but they could definitely be elaborated into their own scenes.
With all this said, I’m still going to keep my word goal of adding 30K to my novel in April – my method will be different that I thought though. Instead of writing the ending (which was my plan), it looks like I’ll be adding new scenes and improving my descriptions of people and places (which I always struggle with when writing. I’m good at writing the action and plot, but need to really focus to paint the sights, sounds, colors, smells, tastes, etc.)
So the good: I’ll be finishing a first draft of an entire novel within the next week! HUGE accomplishment that only a few people have done… And now I’ve completed two in my lifetime with a goal of many more. And just think, a month ago I thought I’d never write another novel. I’ll Never Write Another Novel! (I thought)