Friday, May 20, 2011

The Convoluted Time Travel Novel (update)

It's about time I shared some more writing news.

Work has resumed on "The Time Traveler's Illegal Harem," the novel I wrote for National Novel Writing Month last November.  While I won the contest by reaching 50,000 words with this work, it is far from complete in many respects, and after six months of letting it rest, I'm back at it, going over the manuscript to ready it for marketing.  It may take some time, as I'm tied up with other work at the moment, so it's a spare time project.

Due to the constraints of the NaNoWriMo contest, and the fact that I was working full days at the time, I couldn't write it as comprehensively as I had my previous novels.  I had to crank out almost 1,700 words a day to keep pace, and when you're coming in off various manual labor jobs, it can be difficult to produce quality literature so rapidly.  But I managed to cross the finish line a day early, and I now have the bulk of the work completed on this novel.

The key to success in NaNoWriMo is to not let yourself get bogged down.  That was the major hurdle I had to overcome, for there were places in this book where uncertainty got in the way.   I wasn't quite sure how to depict some scenes, so in order to keep up with the contest I skimmed over some things, and outright skipped others.  I knew what had to be written, but I needed more time to work out the particulars, so I moved on to other scenes which flowed at a steadier pace.  This left some holes in the manuscript, so now I have some bridging to do.

So, what's the story about?  It basically follows the lives of Temporal Agents who are fighting to restore the timeline.  Jack Baker woke up one day to find he had been erased from history, and ever since he has been trying to restore his future while dodging agents from an alternate version of the Temporal Agency, who believe he is meddling with time.  Meanwhile, there is a more sinister force behind radical alterations in history, an unknown agent who is creating a myriad array of strange pasts and futures.  During Jack's exploits through these divergent realities, he ends up collecting a lot of damsels in distress, many of whom become allies in his fight to fix time.  Though, his proclivity toward rescuing women gives the impression that he's recruiting a harem, hence the title.

It'll all come together eventually, and I'll keep you all up to date on things as they develop.  Stay tuned for more information about this exciting story.


  1. Congratulations on completing Nano last year. I scraped through on the last day with just over 50K of my sci-fi novel Dreaming of Sleep.

    I know exactly what you mean about the quality of writing that is produced that quickly. But if it's not at a publishable standard that is okay - you got the story down and you can now take your time over it, like me.

    I'm intrigued by your time travel novel!

    Ellie Garratt

  2. Yes, time is certainly the key factor. Considering I was working full days, and had to write this when I was dead-tired, I'm surprised it is as good as it is.

    When there's nothing standing in your way, the writing really can flow much easier. I wrote an 80k novel in under 3 weeks one December, as I didn't have anything else to preoccupy my time, and the quality of the writing didn't suffer at all.

    I expect you'll discover how much more you can accomplish with writing once you start your work break this September.

  3. I hope so. I just prey nothing else happens during that time to distract me, like family emergenices!