About Austin:

Former IT guy turned spec-fic writer and librarian, Austin Gragg lives in Independence, Missouri.

When he isn't writing, reading, or teaching digital literacy classes, he can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons with his partner, friends, and a pride of small domestic lions.

My NaNoWriMo 2017 Plans

My NaNoWriMo 2017 Plans


NaNoMuthaFunkinWriMo! I'm doing it, yalls. MMMM-HHMMM. It's going to be excellent--so excellent you have to say it in your best evil emperor voice followed up with a good old GOOOOOOOOOOODDDDD. And in case you were wondering, I pronounce it *na-no-RY-mo*. None of that REE going on here. Nuh-uh.

But I've got a SPECIAL SOMETHING planned for my own NaNoWriMo. So SPECIAL, SPECIAL is in caps because Gandalf is yelling it at you while you watch helplessly from the bridge as the Balrog approaches.

I'm actually going to be fixing a novel during NaNo this year. I just saw you get all big eyed and pissy there--not you--yes YOU! I see you through your front facing cam. You're saying, "BUT AUSTIN, NANO IS FOR WRITING A NEW BOOK--NOT EDITING! YOU'RE WRECKING THE SYSTEM. STOP."

I see you. I hear you. But I AM actually writing something new--and fixing something old--sorta.

So, my last completed manuscript was done in June. All said and done, it took me six months to write. That was about a month of plotting and five months of writing, with the manuscript coming in done-ish at just over 60,000 words (a bit short of goal, but that was expected). This was an impressive achievement for me in regards to productivity. And I wound up with a MS that I really REALLY like. I mean, I like it more than the way Riker steps over the back of every chair on the Enterprise. But... I found a problem.

Now all manuscripts have problems, especially first drafts. The first draft of anything is shit. Period. Fact. But this shit is the good shit. However, still shit that needs fixing. We need to hit the steaming pile with a fire hose until we're left with nothing but a gold nugget, and then we file that nugget down into the shape of a ninja doing a sick trick whilst riding a unicorn. This is how it is with all first drafts, and many subsequent drafts thereafter. But while this draft has some problems, it has one BIG problem which requires... *pause for emphasis* ...a rewrite.

I realized something terrifying while trying to revise... The story would make more sense, be more engaging, better paced, and overall a million times better if I swapped the main character's personality for the main supporting character's personality.

This is like lifting the engine block out of a car.

It is a simple task--a simple fix.

But. It's. Not. Easy.

I'm having to re-outline and rewrite the entire manuscript. The one simple change will affect character backgrounds, dialog, actions, settings, scenes, sequels, the cat, the climax...

My head has been on the verge of exploding lately, due to all these realizations. Nothing, I mean, almost NOTHING plot point wise will change. But how those plot points unfold, will. So, rewrite. And I thought VERY SERIOUSLY, about trunking this novel. I was, at one point, very closing to quitting on this story indefinitely.

But then I thought about the advice I've gotten--damn good advice--from some of my favorite author's books and blogs and talks given on writing and storytelling craft. And I realized, this is one of those hard moments they're always talking about. This is just like having a story rejected. It's another obstacle, sure, but it's one I can choose how I tackle.

So I've decided to be the serious writer. I'm going to fix the book. I know I can, even though it'll be hard. But, from my understanding based on the sage advice of many working writers, it's these moments that separate the wannabe writers from the people who might, might someday have a shot, maybe at making their writing dreams come true.

So, I'm going to use the current draft as a draft ZERO, instead of ONE. I'm going to re-outline this sucker, and start pounding the keyboard in November. If I could get my first attempt at this story done in less than six months, I think the rewrite will go even faster given that I know the story already, every plot beat.

Will I actually hit the 50,000 word count goal by the end of November? Probably not since I made this public declaration--making public goals usually jinxes me big time. Also, I'm taking 18 credit hours this semester (9 first 8wks, 9 the second). Nevertheless, I'm going to give it my best go. And hopefully and more reasonably, have a fixed draft of this thing in early 2018. From there I can fix it further and hopefully get it beta-reader ready, so then I can work on post-beta edits of the last project, and start submitting it to agents/editors.

Future posts with updates. Probably one on how I'm re-outlining to fix the novel. 

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? You should!

'till next time, keep creating!

Want to do that NaNoWriMo thing? Here's a linkity-linkity-link!


Writing Weapons (Writing Tools)

Writing Weapons (Writing Tools)

Netflix Gems: RAW

Netflix Gems: RAW