It’s hard to believe National Novel Writing Month is over. November went by fast; it was busy and full and at times stressful, but what a ride! I wrote every day, averaging over 3,000 words per day, ending with just over 100,000 words altogether. Although I finished the rough draft of my novel, it needs a LOT of editing, so it will be awhile before it sees the light of day. I do intend to publish it eventually, though, assuming I can get it to the point where I’m happy with it. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I chose to write about a topic I know very little about, so I’m going to have to get input and feedback from experts in the field as I revise!
For those who are curious about my novel, here’s a brief description that may eventually become the back-cover blurb:
For fourteen-year-old Bensin, life as a slave in the Krillonian Empire is bearable only because he can practice and compete in the martial art he loves. He has promised to protect his younger sister Ellie, but after he is sold to a coach whose training begins to really build his skills, everything changes. With victory in the empire’s most important tournament almost within reach, will he give up everything he has been working toward to come to her aid when danger threatens? And can he successfully deceive his new owner – the first free person to treat him kindly – and break the law to free his sister?
This is a sample cover (not the final version I’ll use when I publish it) that someone I met on the NaNo site was nice enough to design for me. You can take a look at more of her art work here. The weapon Bensin is holding in the picture is what I call a cavvarach (pronounce it so it rhymes with “have a rack”), which he uses in the martial art I made up called cavvara shil. The hook on the top edge is actually supposed to be pointing the other way. To win a duel, you must snag your opponent’s cavvarach with the hook and pull it out of their hand. It also counts if you knock or kick it away (yes, kicking one’s opponent is allowed too). Another way to win is by knocking your opponent down and holding their shoulders to the mat for five seconds. It’s been a fun challenge designing this sport and incorporating it in my story!
So what’s next? Well, I’m trying to follow other writers’ advice and not look at my document for at least a week or two (though it’s been a lot harder than you might think!). After I let it rest a bit, I’ll read back through it and do all my usual editing and polishing, as well as a little more research into martial arts and fitness in general to make sure all the details are realistic. I’m guessing that will take a couple of months, maybe longer. At that point, I’ll need beta readers (people to read through it and give feedback and suggestions before it’s published), so if you’re interested, let me know!