So far, I'm ahead of schedule for NaNoWriMo this year, which means that I'm on schedule. I try to write more each weekday so I can take off the weekends. This is my second year of NaNoWriMo, but I'm writing my fourth novel. It feels comfortable now. I know how to write dialogue and description and I'm moving into the stage where I can work on the artistry of the prose in a way that makes me feel like I'm doing something original. I've been writing poetry for years but prose is relatively new to me (Creative prose. I've written technical manuals, essays, etc.).
I've been pretty lucky with it, too. I've had one novel published (it's a romance and under a pen name) and another slated for publication next year (another romance). These are not literary novels by any stretch of the imagination, but I like them. I've been a romance junkie since I was 13. Sci-fi and fantasy are my other favorites so I've been focusing on learning more everyday about how to write in different genres for different markets. I wrote the romances very carefully after doing some market research on what sells and what doesn't.
Marketable prose is strangely more relaxed and more strict than literary prose. I have to be careful how often I use sentence fragments and POV is key. For the romance market, absolutely no fragments and POV has to be third person. That's just what sells. For sci-fi/fantasy the standards are a little more relaxed, but not so much that it's terribly difficult to read. The theme can be adventurous, but the writing style needs to not call too much attention to itself. Literary prose? All bets are off! My novel, The Quantum Archives, is a mix of poetry and experimental prose snippets along with straight prose and I'm fairly certain it'll be a tough sell. I haven't managed to get that one published yet and I've slated it for some more revision in a month or so.
With this nanowrimo I'm trying to write my second sci-fi (The Quantum Archives was my first). I'm hoping this one will be more mainstream because I'd like to sell it. At the same time I'm trying to put more of my literary voice into the work. Then, after it's done, I'll need to find an agent. Haven't done that yet and I'm a bit apprehensive, though I shouldn't be. After dealing with the poetry world for over ten years and getting rejection after rejection, my skin is pretty tough.
Anyway, if you'd like to follow my progress, my page at www.nanowrimo.org is here: chrissiemkl