After hearing about National Novel Writing Month for several years, I’ve decided to take the plunge!
Maybe it’s due to the boost of confidence that finishing and self-publishing my first novel, Bavarian Beauty, in September gave to me. That proved to me that I could actually finish a novel, rather than just work on one.
Maybe it’s due to my rekindled desire to become an author as a full-time job.
Maybe it’s because writing for me has become a rush that I’m addicted to, and I keep coming back for more.
Maybe it’s because an idea for another novel has been nagging me since August, when I took time off from my blog to work on that Bavarian novel.
Maybe it’s because after I finished writing a flash fiction piece, You’re Next, a couple of weeks ago and scheduled the post for my blog, I thought about what could happen next in the story — and, well, I wrote some more, and ideas started coming.
But, really, it’s all of the above.
I’m faced with the dilemma of one story gripping its hand around my neck, demanding to be finished, and another story tapping its finger on my shoulder, demanded to be started.
Here’s my plan (so far): continue expanding You’re Next from short story to novel and see where it takes me. I’ve written 16,000 words of it, and I’ll keep on truckin’ on that. If I want to get a change of scenery along the way, I’ll dip my toe into the other story that’s nagging at me with a tapping finger.
Let’s call the second project Beta. I have a few ideas for a title, but I’m not sure which to choose — so a work-in-progress name makes more sense to me at this point. I envision it to be primarily a crime novel, with a bit of science fiction, horror, and sex mixed in.
Actually, both of these projects stray from my usual erotica leanings. In these new stories, sex is not the main event. Many years ago, when I started writing fiction, I never included sex in my short stories. Those pieces were about relationships, but they never had sex. When I tried erotica on a whim, I was hooked by the rush of the action in the story, as well as the writing of it.
But now, I’m taking a step away from so much sex in my writing. My flash fiction published recently on my blog reflects that. So will these new stories. (For those of you worried about me completely moving away from erotica, don’t worry yourself — I’ll come back to the smuttier stuff in other projects.)
So that’s the plan. I’ll rush into National Novel Writing Month with one project in the fore-front, and another waiting (impatiently) in the wings. We’ll see where this goes.
What’s this National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for a shortened, wild-looking abbreviation) all about?
I’ll let the website describe the background, since it does a great job:
“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.”
50,000 words is a lot for a month. With November having 30 days, that’s 1,667 words every day. I’m sure there will be days that I write fewer than that, due to my day job and other things coming up. (There’s that turkey day popping up late in the month.) But I’m planning to have other days where I make up for that and exceed 2,000 words.
Well, I figure I’ll pound out as much of You’re Next as I can during November. Hopefully, I’ll push past the 50,000-word goal. That momentum may carry over to December if I feel the novel isn’t finished. Whenever I feel the story has wrapped up, I plan to put it to the side and let the story simmer in the back of my brain for a bit, while I work on Beta — or on shorter stories if my brain needs a break from the longer stories. Then, sometime ahead, I’ll revisit You’re Next and see what works and what doesn’t.
I’m looking forward to this. It’s gonna be a wild ride.
As the month moves along, I’ll post updates about my progress with the novels’ word counts. Maybe throw out a sentence or two. No long excerpts, though. I’ll save that for after I’ve gone back and taken closer looks at the novels, retooling what I think didn’t work well.
Also, I’m going to post every day with a quote about writing or literature. Something to inspire me during the month, and hopefully they will inspire others who are participating in NaNoWriMo — as well as those who are simply just writing a story that burns inside them. I’ve already scheduled these quotes for the month, to get that work out of the way and give me more time to focus on writing.
Oh — one last thing: My participant page for NaNoWriMo is here, in case you want to stop by.
Best wishes on your writing!