If you haven't heard of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, it's basically an attempt to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. It's not about writing a good novel, just about getting the words down. Quantity over quality. Editing can wait until December.
I've attempted to do it for a few years now, and failed each time because of distractions. So this year, I've decided not to participate. Instead, I'm going to push myself to finish "Warrior, Wizard."
I've been working pretty hard on WW. Not the actual writing part, but the preplanning part, which is taking a lot longer than I've expected. Once I started writing, I realized that I needed to know how my magic system worked. And once I started writing again, I realized that I also needed to know how exactly my world worked.
At this point, I've decided that while the "Warrior, Wizard" I finally release to...wherever it is I release it will be a final draft, it's also not going to be the final final draft. It's more like a beta release, or a pilot episode, since I plan to revisit the world of Lesaria. Or maybe not Lesaria, since the name is definitely not final. I like the world I've started setting up, and I'd like to refine it. History, themes of racism, the world outside of the isolated island it's set on, the political dynamics, the different cultures and subcultures...these are all things I'd love to explore, but WW is not the story to do that. WW exists to tell the story of Jaren and Alera, and in this case, brevity is the soul of wit. A reader doesn't need to know who Caro Plith is or what influence he had on the study of magic since Jaren is our POV character and probably doesn't even know who Plith is.
So after I've gotten the basics of the world nailed down a bit more (which I've almost finished), the plan is to write. Try to push out at least one scene a day until I've gotten the whole timeline done. Put the scenes in the order I'd like them. Look at how it works, then remove, add, and change scenes until I find something that works. Tweak them to make them flow together better. That should be the point where I can officially say that the story has moved from "rough draft" to "completed first draft." Then I find some people who can give me feedback. Get critique, edit accordingly, and rewrite until I'm satisfied.
What will I do when I'm finished with it? I'm not sure. I might send it in to a few places. See if I can get it published. Experience the joys of rejection letters. I've only gotten one so far, so it'd be nice to get a few more before I can get anything published. And then? Then I set it aside for a while. Work on another project. Actually get some things written before I come back to Lesaria, because why on earth would anyone want to work on a single project?
I mean, come on. That's just ridiculous.