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NaNoWriMo is over, but I’m still working on the novel to try and finish it before the New Year. I’ve learned from previous NNWMs that if I take a break and try to start again after the New Year, it’s that much harder to get back into the world. The fire that was driving me has moved on. So yeah, I need to finish it now. Then I’ll put it aside for six months or so, so that when I come back to it, I can do so with more objective eyes.

I haven’t written a novel in two years. I’ve been focusing so much on trying to get my name out there in short story anthologies, and for a good part of the last two years, I was doing both a job and school, so second priority stuff kind of got put aside. I’ve decided that while I’ll continue with my short story attempts (by attempts, read mostly overshooting the word count), I’m a novelist, and there’s really no getting around that. I was writing novels in elementary school (not good ones) and didn’t start writing short stories, really, until college. High school creative writing class doesn’t count because it was a joke.

While my novel plots are never very complicated, I tend to think in terms of longer arcs and more nuanced character growth. My biggest problem with writing short stories is that I have so much trouble balancing external and internal action. My best “short” stories that manage to do so in a manner that I like are usually in the long story category of 9-13k words. Anything less, and I feel like I lose the meat of the story that I really like, whereas novels let me explore more than just the bones of the story.

All that just to say that I’m really enjoying working on a novel. Next year, I’ll be working on two non-erotic novels, one a rewrite of an old novel and one completely new one. I’ll probably still submit pieces for anthology calls, but January through April is for one novel, summer is for editing WOLF GIRL, and August through October is for the other novel. And then, of course, NaNoWriMo. I think I may stick to erotic novels for NaNoWriMo, though. I’ve found that sex scenes really make the word count climb, and wanting more words makes the sex scenes more detailed, which is something that I’ve been wanting to work on.

The biggest downside to writing novels is the time commitment. Instead of taking a week to write a short story and another week to edit, my commitment to a novel may be two or three years, and that’s if the book doesn’t have to be rewritten.

So that’s what’s up right now. At the end of the year, I’ll put up a post about goals I’ve met, submissions and acceptances/rejections, and my goals for 2012.