You may have twigged by now, because I do tend to go on about it a bit, that back in November 2015 I wrote a novel called Stargirl. That was for National Novel Writing Month, a thingy where basically you try to write 50,000 words in 30 days; I managed that, then over the next couple of months kept going and finished Stargirl draft 1 at around 90,000. Since then there’s been a draft 2, which is very slightly shorter and (I think) a bit better but still far from being finished.
I have a few fiction-y goals for the near-ish future (see more on those here):
- Draft 3 of Stargirl.
- Finish Fixer’s Breakers (a novel I wrote half of between Stargirl v1 and v2).
- Do NaNoWriMo again this year, aiming to write a new untitled novel that I’ve got a few vague ideas about.
This series is going to be an attempt to kickstart all of that beautiful creativity, or whatever I might be able to muster that could pass for such a thing, by reading back over Stargirl and doing something like behind-the-scenes commentary as I go. Some of you may find this vaguely interesting; most of you will probably think it’s pretentious at best and nonsensical at worst, but oh well.
I was inspired, by the way, by stumbling across Brandon Sanderson’s annotations of his work; I don’t think he has time to do them any more, but he used to give chapter-by-chapter insights on his stories and how they were written. These days, publisher Tor does a similar kind of thing: extended in-depth rereads of each chapter of Sanderson’s work, theorising what things might mean based on a fuller knowledge of the series as it’s unfolded since the chapter under scrutiny was first published.
My immediate goal, therefore, is to complete a full reread and chapter-by-chapter annotation of Stargirl v2. I don’t claim to be an incredible author, far from it, so I don’t want anyone to take this as an assertion that I have the best writing skills and that you should all be learning from me. Any aspiring writers should note, before taking anything I might say as advice, that I have never been published and very much doubt I have anything useful to teach! This is mostly for my own benefit, but perhaps someone out there will enjoy the story and my thoughts on how it all came to be and unfolded.
I’ve no idea whether getting a full reread done, written and published before the end of October (and therefore the start of the next NaNoWriMo, when I’ll be starting work on a new novel altogether – hopefully I’ll have something resembling an outline before then!) is a reasonable thing to think might be possible, but we’ll see. Keep an eye out, and part one will be up soon.
If you’d like to read ahead, by the way, the whole thing can be read here. My commentary will try not to spoil everything yet to come, but will inevitably touch on future events.
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: Hello! It’s Chris, circa early 2020. Unfortunately, you can no longer read Stargirl for free online, for reasons which will hopefully become apparent shortly. If you do stumble across this series somehow and really want to read version 2 along with my commentary, let me know and I’ll be happy to send you a copy.