Every year, I look at November with equal measures of dread and giddy anticipation.
Each year, I look at the stress levels in my life, at my works in progress, and at my social calendar November 1-30. Last year, I decided not to participate in National Novel Writing Month, because I was coming down off the wedding on November 3rd, and I needed to just flop for a few weeks.
This year, I’ve signed up. I have a rather ridiculous screen name because you can’t change those, and I’ve been a member since the first time I did NaNoWriMo in 2006. If you can put up with that, and you’re participating, feel free to buddy me!
Track-record wise, the one year I did complete NaNo (2008) I’m still using the plot. Maaneshin is being retrofitted into a series of comic books currently. The one I wrote in 2006 was … the best adjective I can use is atrocious. But it has good bits, so I’ve composted that to dig the bits back up later on. 2011’s is still something I consider an active WIP, I just got side-tracked when my characters pulled the plot somewhere I wasn’t ready to go. There’s rewriting and replotting to be done, so it got stalled until I figure out what the point of that story is going to be.
I need to come up with my plot for this year’s NaNo, because I’m never pantsing again.
Yes, my stress levels have been high enough for me to excuse myself from NaNo. Yes, I have current WIPs (like Maaneshin!). But what I don’t have is a daily practice of writing new content, and I don’t have a new novel-length piece to work on editing. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but through the process of writing Salvaged, I’ve honed my editing process. It needs to be tested and timed. I need to see how long it takes me to create a new novel from scratch.
I also miss the flow.
I know why I’m doing it, but I have no earthly idea what I’m going to write. I’ve got a lot of ideas, but I’m not sure which one is going to stand up and demand to be written. Will it be the young adult portal fantasy with dark moral questions? Will it be the space colonialism one with interesting world-building? Will it be the sequel to Salvaged, which exists, fully formed in my brain? Will it be the crazy High Fantasy concept I had the other day while walking to the park?
Guess we’ll find out.
- Why All Writers Should Care About NaNoWriMo (plottersandpantsers.wordpress.com)
- A Novel Natter: Author Ambition (mynovelopinion.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo Prep Work (literarylandofalysia.wordpress.com)
- 6 weeks until NaNoWriMo (mikecoville.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo distractions (mikecoville.wordpress.com)
- Fiction Friday: Six Weeks to #NaNoWriMo – Here’s 5 Things You Can do Now to Prepare #writetips (lisavoisin.wordpress.com)