The Power of NaNo

Ah those 30 nights of literary abandon. They warp your mind and soul and make you wonder if it’s all worth it. It is if you have passion and a want to hone your craft. The most important thing to remember is once NaNo is complete, your manuscript is not. No one’s that clean, not even the writers that to do it for a living.

Your first run through is always a rough draft. Hell, you might not even finish it during NaNo. Most novels are more than 50k long. What NaNo does is give you the jump start you need. Which brings me to Ghosts in the Mirror. Ghosts was my 2009 project and it drained me. I barely made it over the finish line of 50k because I just couldn’t write any more. I originally had it in a couple of PoVs and wanted to make it mainstream fiction. Yeah, I was still on that kick. The problem? The market is flooded with them and back then, I really didn’t know if I had a diamond in the rough.

The more I read over what I had, the more I hated it. It’s a common thing for me and NaNo time. The loathing to even look at one page. So I set it aside and pulled it out in January. The disgust still lingered so I shelved it, unsure on where to proceed and knowing I had a little more research to do.

Through the years that followed, I worked on a chapter or two and even posted a good bit of it on Scribophile. Finally I got the jumpstart I needed. So on vacation of 2012, I decided I’d work on that. It was grueling but I wasn’t getting irritated with the project. In fact, I finally found a direction. I remembered my favorite book I read in high school–The Pigman. It was a gritty YA novel and not high school bubble gum that I can’t stand. Why not take Ghosts in the direction? The characters fit the age group.

So off I went. Not only did I strip at least 90% off the adult PoV out, I added a lot to it. It ended around the 65k range, I believe. Pretty good for all I cut out. In the end, it was worth it. I already had a publisher in mind for it and I’m happy to say they accepted it.

Thanks, Lycaon Press for believing in my story.

*The cover art featured isn’t the official one. It’s a mock up I did during NaNo to represent the story.

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