Good riddance, Textual Sword of Damocles. I'm glad I stepped up to the challenge, but I can't say I enjoyed it as much as Years of NaNo Past. I did get about half a novel's worth of useful disjoint material, a solid first arc, a strong head start on plans and sketches for the rest, and far better rough prose than I used to be capable of at this pace. I call that a win, even though my word count involved a cracktastic outtake of a Russian smuggler accidentally crashing my guys' special manly personal time with contraband hidden inside a Meat Lovers pizza delivery. And you should have already guessed that I made note of the double entendre.
Things I learned, Cliffs' Notes version:
- Holy balls do I overanalyze character development. I need to remember that people's actions and viewpoints aren't always thought out exhaustively, and don't have to stand alone as a convincing position paper.
- Scene development can and should be separated if it doesn't all come at once. You might think of a conversation or conflict without knowing where it takes place or what other exposition needs to be interwoven. Just write what you have and build on it later.
- Write raw conversational exchanges first, then deal with adding action and gestures to prevent Talking Head Syndrome.
- Outtakes are made of win. Not enthused by a conversation? Shove it aside and rewrite it in another context. The original might have some development or nuance for you to repurpose elsewhere. This especially applies to the comment about scenes. Some conversations take off into good scenes. Others fall flat. You might not know the difference until you write them out.
- It's difficult for me to break the short narrative habit of super efficient scenes. I need to rewatch some Wire to help me spread out and split up my development while drawing in more nuance. I improved over this month, but I'm still new to thinking in long form.
So when's this holy mess going to be cohesive and roughly presentable? Give me several months at the very least. I need a break and a rotation of hobby variety. I especially need more research on various whatnots I had to BS over NaNo, such as investigative police procedure (namely, what evidence and approval would be required to start a sanctioned dig up a counterfeit chain from the retailer up, and how some overzealous upstart might accidentally fuck it up with illegal surveillance or useless evidence) and conventions of business interactions at different levels of formality. I want more detail on the economic climate as well. I recently learned that China's export sales are down, hence manufacturing is trying to shift toward more domestic production to be bought by the expanding middle class, which is actually quite serendipitous for my main man's goal of being his own brand.
In the near future, I'll be putting the finishing touches on the Tempered Will rewrite and returning to art. Manga Studio awaits, as does some ideas for new work.