Clocking in at 53,000 words on the night of November 26, 2013 My novel Stone Jaw: The Fall and Rise of Jack Roxxon, has reached completion. All in all I’m pretty pleased with myself. The experiment was a success, and I have a novel to show for my hard work. It sure was an adventure, and as the smoke coming out of my ears cools down I think back on the project
How it Felt
Though I tried to stay positive, and only had to deal with writers block a few times I don’t want to make it seem like this was a walk in the park. This was a challenge. The best analogy I can think of is NaNoWriMo 2013 was like running, one of my other past times. Last year I trained and did a couple half marathons. It was something I was moderately prepared for. I exercised a bit but could of trained more. Before the event I was excited, ready to turn myself into a superhuman machine and plow through the obstacles (be they 13.1 miles or 50,000 words.) Once I got under way I came out to an early lead striding ahead of where I thought I could go. Yet for every mile I crossed I could feel fatigue setting in. Just like running the half marathons, NaNoWriMo made me confront the fact that I am only human, and I’m only going to cross the finish line one step or keystroke at a time. When I finished I was in a lot of pain, fatigued past the point I was accustomed to. Yet once I had a drink and let my heart rate slow down, something else settled in. Exhilaration.
NaNoWriMo, as cliche as it sounds, was a marathon not a sprint. It wasn’t easy but I did it anyway. I pushed myself and the end result was very satisfying. If I did that, imagine what I can do if I go a little further.
A Little About This Project
While writing I planned to blog about this project. I did here and there, but like I said the actual act of writing was more strenuous than I thought. My novel’s tentative title is Stone Jaw: The Fall and Rise of Jack Roxxon. The title might need a little work. It tells the story of a boxer who’s life decisions lead him become a professional hit man. The tale is told as a series stream of consciousness flash backs from Jack’s perspective as he’s on the way to do one of his jobs. The idea initially came from one of my other projects. Stone Jaw is a character in my Superhero project Liquid Silver. In the course of my superhero story nothing was revealed about his past. For no particular reason I have a great affinity for the character. There was a story to be told there. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a superhero story. There are none of the fantasy/adventure/sci fi elements present in my other works. Its a grounded down to Earth crime drama with a few noir elements in there.
How’d It Come Out?
I’m a little bit too close to the project right now to say for certain. Putting aside my substantial self satisfaction I’d say what I completed is okay. Its a rough draft but it has potential to be good once I edit out all my grammar and spelling errors. I took the model of a coming of age story and turned down a darker path. Most coming of age stories end with the hero attaining some greater level of maturity or enlightenment. Stone Jaw instead is looking back on how he lost his innocence. After finishing a story I like to let it “marinate”. This is the darkest story I’ve written so far. It’s definitely dramatic, tragic, and gripping. Once I come back to it I’ll judge it then
NaNoWriMo 2014? In all seriousness, I now have a total of 4 completed manuscripts ready to edit. I want them to be available online soon. Just like the marathon I’m only going to cross that finish line one stride at a time. Picking them off one at a time the plan is to
Step one: proof read
Step two: get them edited professionally
Step three: draft a cover
Step four: upload to the internet
You know, when I put it that way it doesn’t sound so insurmountable. While I work on the first three Stone Jaw will have plenty of time to marinate. First on the docket my novella Death and Professor Longfellow. You’ll see a few blog updates soon enough.