November is National Novel Write Month or NaNoWriMo for short. The goal is to start a book from scratch on November 1st and have it completed by November 30th and the length has to be a minimum of 50,000 words (you can plot in advance but you can’t do any of the actual writing of the novel, that’s the one rule).
It’s an interesting exercise and I first started back in 2003. I only got about ten pages into the book before I lost the drive for it. My second attempt in 2004 did a bit better but still nowhere close to finishing. And then in 2005, I did it — I completed a 50K in a little under thirty days. This was my first novel, which was also the first one I published, Fallen.
My second attempt in 2006 hit a little over the halfway mark but again, I lost out before the story was finished and eventually lost the drive. Same with my attempts in 2007 and 2009.
With this being November, I thought I’d talk about abandoned projects in general. I’ve had a few of them — every writer has. For example, Chasing The Dragon was supposed to be the first in a series featuring main character Riker Stone. But while doing the second book, Die By The Sword, it got away from me and I lost the drive.
Another one is Elias Starr and the Prometheus Engine, which was supposed to be the first in a potential sci-fi series. I got really far into that book, about a hundred pages, before it fell off. This was originally supposed to be the beginning of a sci-fi series. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.
Of course, if a project is abandoned at one point, that doesn’t mean it can’t be resurrected. Love & Bullets began as a failed screenplay and then a failed comic book before I turned it into a novel. Now, it’s the first book in the series with a second book already complete and awaiting release. My next novel, The Myth Hunter, also began originally as a comic project several years ago. It fell off but it was resurrected as a novel and I’ve begun planning the second book in that series. SoulQuest is another failed project that was later resurrected. Also originally a comic book, I had tailored it to an artist who expressed a desire to work with me. The artist disappeared and I found another. He did some preliminary work on it but then dropped off without a word. After that, I had the opportunity to release it as a serialized online novel through Revenance.
Will Riker Stone return at some point? Maybe. I like the character and I’ve been trying to find a way to bring him back to life. Elias Starr has been a bit more problematic because it’s harder to bring back a character who hasn’t gotten his chance to shine yet. Especially when the failure came before that first book was finished.
I’d like to see these characters return in some fashion. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Or maybe they’ll return in a different form than I originally intended. Time will tell.