I was utterly exhausted after writing 50,000 words in a month, as well as going to school part-time and working on writing contracts. However, I am glad I did it!
My background in fiction writing is limited, but my non-fiction writing experience is rather vast and varied. Thus, I was interested to see how the process differed when it came to getting words on the page. After just three days into the contest, I realized I was in for a roller coaster ride. My imagination took off and my characters seemed to have wills of their own!
Let me pause here and give you a brief synopsis. My novel is called Two Women. It takes place in 1993 and 1994 in Vancouver, Victoria, Tokyo, and Kyoto. The first half of the novel is from a limited omniscient perspective and is focused on the life and relationships of a young woman called Cassandra. The second half of the novel is also in limited omniscient, but from the perspective of Michelle, a somewhat older woman. These women are linked by a man they are both involved with, though they don’t actually meet. The genre of the novel is women’s fiction and deals with questions like: What does it mean to be a feminist? How has modern technology changed relationships between people? How do we define success?
Anyway, I found that when I was writing this novel that every impactful experience I have ever had seemed to influence what I was writing. My characters’ personalities, their daily lives, and climatic moments all contained at least a flavour of the life I have led. That’s why the thought of showing the novel to anyone is so abhorrent to me. It is just such a revelatory document!
It is also very rough. It needs serious editing for continuity! It was very challenging to get the two women’s stories into the same time frame and have them mirror each other to a degree. Were I given the chance to do it over, I would definitely create a much more detailed outline. However, having two perspectives in the story was a choice I made along the way and I think the book is better because for it.
Would I ever write another novel? I don’t think so. I find real life and real people’s stories incredibly interesting. I also like the fact that I just tell those stories and don’t find my way into them. That said, I would certainly consider writing a short story or play. I think the brevity of those forms would allow me to express myself without giving too much away.
National Writing Month sponsors offer generous discounts to winners who want to get their novels published. There are also supposed to be some ebooks given to winners. More information is becoming available, so I will provide an update if I collect any prizes as such. However, I think what I have really won through this experience is new knowledge about myself, the writing process, and the importance of sticking with something and seeing it through to completion. I have always managed to do the latter in a professional capacity, but it was nice to do it for myself just this once.