I spent a large part of my free time in August (which is minimal at best ) drafting my novel, Biomalware, for Camp NaNoWriMo. It was a challenge, painful at times, depressing and exhilarating. I suffered from a bit of writer’s block in the “great swampy middle” as Jim Butcher calls it, and had to rush toward the end. I didn’t really think I’d complete the story arc but somehow it came together. It’s exciting to be this far along with it after only a month.
I started with a short story about a man, a widowed single dad, who takes his two year old daughter to the doctor’s because she seems to get sick most of the time after eating. The doctor diagnoses a new form of IBS but the nurse slips him a note suggesting that something else is happening. It turns out that a new line of genetically modified food is making her sick. As I worked on the book, unexpected events suggested themselves. We had a natural gas explosion that destroyed a house in town and it fit into my story perfectly. It also turned out that making people sick was not all the food was doing.
There’s a lot to do yet though. I’ve completed the story arc but it’s pretty skimpy in a lot of places. Before I started, I was planning to add another 50,000 words to the novel in September to finish it but now I think I’ll focus on editing and rewriting to add material. (I still have a little research to do in order to make sure it all makes sense.) I hope to end up closer to 80,000 words.
In October, I’ll hand the novel off to my writer’s group for feedback, hoping they’ll have time. That should help me focus it a little better, and maybe expand more. I’ll also recruit some other beta readers from family and friends to give me feedback.
November gets a little tricky. I’ll still have a editing to do but I’d like to finish Devolution for National Novel Writing Month in November. I started that some time ago and have released two parts of it on Yahoo! Voices. Planning for that will also fill some of my writing time in October.
I have the first agent picked out to submit Biomalware to and I plan to submit in December. It was kind of funny, I knew what agency I wanted to submit to and the latest Writer’s Digest had a list of twenty-five agents accepting new work. Two of them were from this agency and one listed science fiction.
Today I’m hoping to take out all the portions of the manuscript that I knew I didn’t want to keep but left in to reach my word count for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ll take them out and put them in a separate document so that I still have them to refer to, and in case I decide I do want some portion of them.
It’s turning into an exciting year for writing. The future I envision, of writing for a living, just seems to become more clear as I work.