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What I’ve learned this Nanowrimo

This is the fourth time I’ve tried to write a rough draft of Continuo, my cellist/music producer contemporary M/M romance, for Nanowrimo. I wrote a 30-scene outline, one 1666-word scene per day; I did research, I made playlists, I pondered over characters’ names, I thought about themes and hero’s journeys and character arcs.

I love this story. I’m enamored of this story.

I can’t seem to finish this story.

Not in 50,000 words, anyway, and not in 30 days. Every time I go back to this plot it gets bigger: it went from two men meeting in a park to a decades-long romance-turned friendship-turned romance again. I’ve dropped characters and added more, I’ve added locations and events — and I’ve realized something. This story wants to be big.

No, this story wants to be big.

I’m not afraid of big stories, of course; I’ve written my share. With this one, I’ve been thinking a lot about structure, and how not to make it overwhelming, and I think I’ve decided it will be a series of novellas rather than one long novel. (Of course I also often ask myself, Maybe it’s a screenplay..?)

I am planning to write it all before releasing any parts. The influence of the past is very important to Continuo, and I’d like to have the end written before I decide exactly what happened in the beginning.

I’ll try to blog about Continuo during the writing process. We may be in for a long, long tinker before this thing is done.

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Six Sentence Sunday 4-15

I’m kind of between stories at the moment, trying to figure out what’s next and all that, so this week I’m going to give you one sentence from six stories.

  • They might have stared at each other for hours if the barista hadn’t cleared her throat and said, “Seventeen eighty-two,” in the tone of someone who knew they were interrupting but had business to carry out.
  • He knew little about Willa Emerson, but it seemed to him the ring would suit her perfectly — pretty, not overly elaborate, classic.
  • They smiled at each other, shyly, and at Julian’s side it was Archer’s turn to look exasperated.
  • He’d come a long way from the gawky kid Orin had known, all elbows and knees, whose grace was only visible when you put a bat in his hands and placed him in front of a ball.

  • “I don’t think I’ve seen him sleeping since he was in elementary school.”

  • “Okay, so Siri said this is the closest coffee shop to my apartment and I have to start my morning with coffee, and of course the movers were late so I haven’t even unpacked my coffee maker yet, so can you tell me how to get to the Ely College campus from here with minimal turns because I have zero sense of dir–“

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Six Sentence Sunday

Every Sunday, I will share six sentences from one of my works-in-progress.

His mouth looked so soft, and his eyelids were heavy, but his gaze was as steady as it ever was and there was a faint smile in the corners of his eyes. “Go to sleep, sunshine,” he whispered. “Close your eyes. It’s been a long day.”

“I don’t want to sleep,” I said. “What if you disappear?”