Noveling Archives And What (Not) To Do With Them

Getting ready for NaNoWriMo 2019, I’ve made the dubious decision of opening the “Noveling Backup” folder in my Drive, and I’ve even started reading an unfinished novel from 2011 I couldn’t remember almost anything about, other than the MC’s name (it’s one of the better ones from my writing past, duh).

At the exact same time, I’ve also clicked on the “Novels & Stories WIP” folder, and read the second start of a novella I’ve been trying to write since early 2010, and… realized I would very much like to make it into a series. Of *khm* novels. Well, writers are nothing if not dreamers, aren’t we?

The main problem I’ve noticed, in this recent journey back down the past fifteen years of semi-finished novels, is that the choice of the first novel to be published in my life was, well, a bit random. That is, when the call came, the only answer to “do you have anything almost publishable?” was, well, the Werewolf Novel. It wasn’t the one I’d cared the most about, nor the one I’d had invested the most hours in, but it was the one which was a) finished in its first draft, no matter how much work it still needed and b) rather unsucking. Thus, it ended up getting published (several years later, mind you), and it kinda dragged me in a direction I hadn’t previously predicted, and here we are, in 2019, editing the Werewolf Sequel and writing the second half of the Third Werewolf Novel.

And reading through a decade and a half of my earlier, unfinished, quite unpublishable noveling – and, you’ve guessed it, dreaming. I have a hunch the whole weird situation has come around due to the great Con season of 2019 finally being over, and, for the first time in a long, long time, finding myself with a few months’ time before I have to start sewing and crafting again. A weird feeling, that one, after having made, in collab with my SO, almost ten full costumes in 2019 alone!

So, on the one hand, we’ve got the Current Projects (yup, that’s a link) and all the dreaming I’ve done there.

On the other hand, there are the things I haven’t even written down as ideas yet – the dreamy dreams, like the novella-turned-series-idea above – and the realization how much time it would take to write that one, even though it’s one of the most self-indulging things I might’ve dreamt of so far. (Which is why I haven’t discarded it, even years later, nevermind that it’s a kinky ST fic. Well, inspired by ST. Blame it on growing up in the nineties.)

And on the other other hand – might we say, the foot? – there are four novel-ish things I’ve managed to write to a certain point (two have ‘finished’ first drafts, two don’t) in the past fifteen years, and now I’m having ideas about finishing them – up to a point, right, with a huge caveat that I was hella young while drafting and writing them – if for no other reason, then because I’ve gotten stupidly nostalgic about them.

Also, one of the ‘finished’ ones was my first ever ever novel, and I still have almost tangible feels about the main characters. One of the unfinished ones was the first ‘serious’ thing I’ve ever tried writing, had one of the most ‘sci-fi’-y ideas I’ve ever thought of, and, well, held such promise. And it ended up being too hard to write, among other reasons, because it was one of the rare early ‘novels’ I’ve tried writing off-season, that is, outside of NaNo. (Aaaand… it might’ve been a bit too personal, for the time of writing.)

So, here we are. Or, here we aren’t. Because I’ve already pledged to writing the Werewolf Tie-Ins for NaNoWriMo 2019, and I’ve got the next fortnight or so to finish editing the first draft of the Werewolf Sequel, and then it would be inadvisable to do anything other than finish the Third Werewolf Novel, would it not?

After all, it would be most inadvisable trying to rewrite a 80k+ high fantasy novel (no kidding) about a mercenary girl with nothing to her characterization other than being very short, just because… it’s almost done. (Also, it’s in the same setting as the first novel ever, so… yeahhh.)

And nobody really needs to see my first NaNo novel ever, the one from 2010, just because it’s set in my hometown and its queer and it has an epic graveyard fight as its finale.

But, nostalgia is a tough one to beat, and maybe, somehow, someday, I will bite the bullet and commit a few precious months of my time to “fixing” at least one of them.

Or I will just, somehow, have to make more time for writing altogether.

Which… could actually work.

After NaNoWriMo, ungh…