This Friday is November 1st, and that means NaNoWriMo! Thirty days of writing like crazy with the goal of achieving 50,000 words of the first draft of a novel.
Island in the Lake of Menteith
This year I will be writing the beginning of a novel that’s been rolling around in my head for some time. It’s a hero’s journey set in a post-science fiction world. To me that means the humans in my world are the ancestors of Earth colonists who landed there centuries ago. Technology has devolved, and the aliens that helped them settle have died out completely but their influence remains. The working title is “Dyoza” after the name of the world.
One of the places on Dyoza is the priory located on an island in the middle of Tcharraz lake. The villain and another character grew up there.
Ruins of Inchmahome Priory
I’ve taken my inspiration for this fictional location from (the real) Inchmahome Priory, located on an island on the Lake of Menteith, in Scotland near Stirling. I visited there this summer with my family. Inchmahome Priory was established in 1238, but Protestant Reformation ended it in the mid-1500s. It’s a small island, absolutely beautiful, with paths around the edge, and across. I could imagine people walking around the island in quiet contemplation.
Paths around the island
Well, here it is December already. I would like to say that I skipped posting to my blog for the entire month of November because I was busily plugging away at my NaNoWriMo novel. That’s what I’d like to say. But the truth is that I stopped nano-ing about a week-and-a-half in. It wasn’t a complete loss. I wrote about 7,500 words of the novel I had in mind, and about 6,000 words of the pre-quell novella that I also had in mind. So I didn’t come close to “winning” Nano. But – the way I look at it – it’s more than I had before.
I have some resolutions for the next Nano…
1) Get my family on board with supporting me. In advance.
2) Make sure that if there are any submission deadlines coming up at the end of November, I will finish that story before Nano starts.
3) Complete the detailed outline for my Nano-novel before NaNoWriMo starts.
Hmm. I see a pattern here…
- This Green Woman is on the wall over my desk;-)
One thing I DID accomplish in November was writing and submitting a story for an “Urban Green Man” anthology. It had been two months since the last time I submitted a story, so it felt really good to send one out.
Another thing I did in November – that I’m counting as an accomplishment, but was really more like a fun distraction – was post two “Drabbles” (stories of exactly 100 words), and three “Twabbles” (exactly 100 characters each) in the Drabblecast.org forums. I’ve created a new page – Fiction in a Flash – here on my blog to share them.
I’m still First-Reading for Strange Horizons. It’s a volunteer gig that can be somewhat time consuming, but I feel that I am learning SO much.
This is the mandatory blog post that all bloggers who participate in NaNoWriMo make. The one where I announce to the world the full extent of my writing insanity and say, “Yes, I am planning to write a novel during the month of November.”
Yes! I am participating
Never mind that I have dozens of time consuming things already on the calendar for November. Never mind Thanksgiving, never mind Christmas shopping, never mind that my twins’ birthday is the first week of December. Because somehow I am going to make time to write (on average) 1667 words a day.
One year and three days ago, I heard about NaNoWriMo for the first time.
For anyone out there who still has never heard of National Novel Writing Month, you can read about it on their website here. The basic idea is that writers from all over the world attempt to write fifty thousand (50,000) words of a new novel during the month of November.
Last year on October 29, I decided try it. I logged in and signed up. With no time to prepare, I based my story (very loosely) on the backstory of one of my PBEM RPG characters, in an alternate universe version of the world the RPG is set in. I accomplished the 50,000 word goal. I met a few fellow Nanos at write-ins and online (one I still write with). But at the end of November my “novel” was a mish-mash of vignettes that barely held together as a narrative.
This year I planned to have a carefully prepared outline. But here it is October 30, and still no outline.
But, I do have a story in mind. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the world of my story. I know the main characters and the villain. I know the conflict. I’ve done quite a few of the exercises in Alan Watt’s book “the 90-day novel”. So, I have a plan, which is more than I had last time.
If you are Nano-ing also, I would love it if you “buddy” me on the Nano web site! My user name (no surprise here) is “Miriah”.