What’s New In Zed’s World

What’s New In Zed’s World

If you’ve been reading Zed’s World or Prep Central on Zedprep.com you’ve probably noticed that there’s not been much in the way of new content lately. There’s a good reason for that…it’s called NANOWRIMO.

If you’re not familiar with the term, don’t feel out of the loop because I wasn’t aware of it until this year either. I learned about this event from a writer’s group I joined earlier this summer.

I sought out a writer’s group at the suggestion of a panel I attended at the Denver ComicCon. Fairly early on in the creation of Zed’s World, I realized that writing a serial novel is harder than one would think, and that I needed help and support. It’s not like writing a short story or a longer feature where you have a hook, a set up, a plot point, a response, etc, up to the resolution. With serial, or episodic writing, you have to have some of these elements in every episode. You can’t have just one hook, you have to one each time. There has to be some sort of conflict every time. There has to be a cliff hanger of some sort to bring people back to see ‘what happens next.’ Because the goal of a serial is to keep setting up the next episode, the ultimate resolution may not be developed until the story has lost it’s steam. This is why so many TV shows end with an unsatisfactory whimper. I understand that now, and I have a new-found respect for people who write for shows like the Walking Dead or Supernatural (two of my faves).

Anyway, I envisioned Zed’s World as a serial with 20-24 episodes per ‘season.’ I had ideas for tangential short stories, or what I call ‘companion pieces’ that would tie into the serial but could be read as standalone stories. When I started down the road of creating one of these short stories, I quickly realized that it was going to take more than the normal 3000-5000 words that define the size of a short story, so I set it aside after a couple thousand words.

Enter NANOWRIMO. It is an awkward amalgamation of National Novel Writing Month. It’s been around forever, but I wasn’t introduced to until I joined a local writer’s group. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 1 month (that month being November). I’ve never really written to a schedule before, and like jumping into the serial writing process, through this event I’m learning a lot about writing a full length novel. For one thing, trying to get 1667 words per day on the page is really hard, especially when you have a real job to contend with. I remember hearing once that Stephen King writes 1500 words per day regardless of anything else going on, and I thought “geez, that’s not much to write in a day.” Maybe not for one day, but as you get into the 4th, 5th, 6th days…oh, yeah, it actually is. And he does it every. Single. Day. Color me impressed.

So why am I doing it? Primarily because the support of all the other established and aspiring authors who are also participating in NANOWRIMO is at it’s zenith right now. Also, I’m at a point in Zed’s World where some of these companion pieces need to be fleshed out. One of the biggest challenges of the serial writing process is keeping the timelines of all the different story lines consistent. Start planning these companion pieces and that process becomes even harder. It just made sense to me to forge ahead with the novel, establish some of the future events now, and then build Zed’s World around that framework.

So that’s what I’ve been focusing on – plotting out next moves, trying to ensure consistency, and for the last 11 days working on a companion novel. The good news – I have Zed’s World, Episode 15 just about done, and I have 13,000 words of the novel written. I’m behind the NANOWRIMO schedule of 1667 words per day, but I have Thanksgiving week off from the day job, so I can use that time to catch up.

Meanwhile, have you been enjoying the series? What have you liked the most or least? What would you like more of? Leave a comment and let me know!!

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One Response to “What’s New In Zed’s World”

  1. rebecca says:

    doing a good job

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