Yesterday I announced that I had finished writing my 2008 National Novel Writing Month effort, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel called The Least. This was my third attempt at writing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days (that’s 1,667 words per day). While I’m definitely a winner because I finished (that’s all that matters with NaNoWriMo), The Least is definitely my worst novel by far. I did learn a lot in the process though.
1. Sci-Fi is Hard
I knew it would be, but science fiction is an especially hard genre to write, especially in 30 days. The biggest hurtle is that you have to create an entire fictional world. If you pick a contemporary setting, you don’t have to wonder what kind of clothes people will wear or how they find food. I knew this would be a problem and ended up deciding a few things and running with them, even after I realized some of my assumptions wouldn’t hold up. I love the thought process and imagination involved, but you end up putting a lot of effort into the setting and it’s easy to neglect the plot or characters.