It’s All Done…But of Course It’s Not


In case anyone hadn’t been aware (or considered it), the frantic, massive and often poorly-written posts concerning the history of a world called Erâth have been the result of my participation in this year’s National Novel Writing Month endeavor. This was something I first became aware of last year, when my good friend Ben suggested that we pool our ideas and write a book.

It never happened. I moved to the United States, he stayed in England, and November came and went without a word being written (at least by me). So when Ben sent me an email reminding me of the NaNoWriMo this year, I thought, hell – I might as well give it a damn good shot.

I spent virtually every night (okay, not Thanksgiving…or Saturdays) of November typing crazily between the hours of 10:00 PM and midnight, because of course this is the only time I really get to think about writing at all. My son is in bed, the dishes are done, a cup of tea is steaming beside me, and the words are flowing onto the page (the screen).

Except sometimes they wouldn’t flow, of course. Countless hours were wasted in desperately trying to think of what to write next. How to expound a single sentence into five hundred words. How exactly my world was going to grow, and what the people who lived in it were going to do. I had an idea of where it would end, but as often happens in the creative process I got sidetracked, and the results didn’t always line up with the finished product.

But…and it’s a big but: it’s done.

I have penned exactly fifty one thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine words in the last thirty days (according to Scrivener, whose word count I hope is fairly accurate). This is not the length of a genuine novel. But then, what I’ve written isn’t a story; it’s an Appendix. Appendix A, to be exact. It’s the background to the ridiculously monumental tale I have brought upon myself for the sake of reading a bedtime story to my son. I hope he appreciates it!

I have so, so much more to do. I need to flesh out the races of Erâth. There will be many, and their cultures, habitats, histories and destinies must be written. There are languages to be created, and many of the names in my world may change as a result. Then I will need to create my characters, develop their personalities, their weaknesses and their strengths.

And then…only then…when I have finished every one of the Harry Potter books and there is nothing left to read…can I start on the story. I will hope to write a chapter every few days. The chapters will be short; I have discovered that I can read something in the region of 2,000 words in half an hour, so that will be the goal for each chapter. They will be simple; one idea, one chapter. There may be many chapters, but that’s okay.

Because the story now needs to be told. I can’t abandon it, having created the history of  an entire world. I can’t leave the people of Erârün and Kiriün to wither under the forces of Darkness. I threw them into the fire – I have to rescue them.

So I have accomplished my goal of writing 50,000 words in November, and I am proud of that. But for my sake, my son’s sake and Erâth’s sake, there is still much, much more to do.

Wish me luck!

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