Monday, July 09, 2007

Seventy Days of Sweat Challenge



I'm sweating anyway. (high 90s here again today) I might as well have something to show for it.

This is a writing challenge. 70,000 to 100,000 words in 70 days. But unlike NaNoWriMo, they are easy about whether you are starting a brand new project or working on one with significant word count already in the bag. Even about whether it is a single book or several. You just count the new word count of whatever you are working on. This makes this challenge perfect for exactly what I need. A boost to the tuckus to get back to work on my Fruits of the Spirit Storyworld.

This WIP is a multi-generational and probably multi-volume saga. I'm hoping that by the end of this challenge (September 20) I will know for sure if it needs to be a series rather than a single book. If the projected word count for a single volume were to go much beyond 200,000 it would probably be best to split them up.

Spliting them up is something I have already tried. For each of the three NaNoWriMo that I participated in, I picked one of the two dozen or so major characters for which I had little to no word count other than character sketches and limited myself to the story they were the POV character for. It is possible that in at least one case, the character I chose isn't going to carry a novel length segment all by herself. In the other two cases, it is more likely my difficulties arose from needing to work something out by writing one of the stories for one of the other characters first.

I don't know. But I had just been thinking over the past couple weeks that it was time to start thinking about which character's story I was going to take on for NaNoWriMo this year and the thought held both anticipation and anxiety. Because I really want to get back to work on FOS but I don't want to put all the stories already in progress off limits for a month. Well, three months actually, for I usually start the selection and planning process in August each year.

Each character in this storyworld has a name that points to the theme which their story carries: love, joy, peace, faith, hope, patience, innocence, mercy, grace, will, justice, life, law, light, tolerance, balance, and so forth. They carry their theme around with them even when they just have walk-on roles in another characters story. I hope to make each chapter a stand alone story. I intend to have each chapter be from a single POV, but I'm flexible if the story demands otherwise. If one character (as I anticipate Faith will) accumulates enough word-count as POV then there is potential for that to be a stand alone novel. But then what happens to those POV characters who don't carry a minimum of 50,000 words? These are questions I hope I will be much closer to answering by the end of these seventy days.

The flexibility of this challenge allows me to range all over the map of the story, dabbling in this scene and then that one, moving back and forth between POV characters as the spirit moves me.

I already have approximately 20,000 words in two complete, nearly publishable quality stories. Both with Faith Jubilee Gardner nee Fairchild as POV. What excites me about this challenge is that it allows me to count work on those scenes and stories featuring Faye, whom I've neglected terribly because of NaNoWriMos strictures. I have another approximately 40,000 of abysmally rough draft words combining the three stories I worked on for NaNoWriMo. My goal is to average 1000 words of new material per day. I don't expect it to be anything but rough. In fact I must not expect more than that or I will freeze up.

I am going to play with this storyworld again, like I did once upon a time when it was first born.

This is going to make my niece very happy. She has been pestering me to get back to work on this ever since she read one of Faye's stories and went gaga over it. Was that last summer?

8 tell me a story:

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