As we head into NaNoWriMo 2022, I’m both excited for and dreading what’s to come.
NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an event that happens every November. The challenge is for writers to pen 50,000 words in the month of November. I love this challenge; I like measurable goals, and the structure the event provides is helpful.
I’ve “won” NaNoWriMo consistently since 2019, meaning I’ve hit or exceeded that 50,000-word goal. But this year, I’m working on the third installment of the Darkness Falls series, and I don’t know what I’m writing.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I have some direction…
Being a Discovery Writer
I used to try to force myself to outline and plan, plan, plan. That just doesn’t work for me. I always have a general direction my book will go, and I always know some key plot points, but I need the flexibility of no hard outline.
This is how I wrote Under Darkened Skies, its sequel, and its companion prequel. But this third book in the series is giving me more trouble. Every time I sit down to write, I find myself not quite sure where I’m going with things. I don’t think my main character quite knows, either. She’s in limbo after what happens in Book 2. Figuring out where she’s at will likely be key to figuring out how the story progresses.
Series Release Schedule
I plan to release Under Darkened Skies in the spring of 2023. The prequel companion novel will come out in the summer, and Book 2 should come out in late summer or early autumn. That means Book 3 will be slated to come out sometime in early 2024 if I can keep up the pace.
But one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that even when you want to do something on a certain schedule, life has a habit of getting in the way. (So if you’re reading this in late 2024 and the third book isn’t out yet… sorry!)
I’m also not exactly sure how many books the series will have. I think it will be five books in the main story plus several side stories, but I’m not committed to that. The series will be however long it needs to be to wrap up the story.
Where do I go from here?
Knowing that the third book is going to be a challenge for me, I’m going to try to do some more outlining than usual ahead of or during NaNoWriMo. With any luck, that’ll get me through the first draft.