October 29, 2021

NaNoWriMo Is Nigh, Once Again

It's nearly the end of the month, and so, as revealed in last month's peek behind the curtain, I'm up against my deadline to post another update.

More specifically, it's the end of October, which means it's almost the start of National Novel Writing Month. For many years, I spent every November writing first drafts at full tilt along with a growing number of writers around the world, in pursuit of the goal of producing 50,000 words in 30 days. NaNoWriMo changed my life and introduced me to many friends, and I have fond emotions about it every November even though the last time I participated was 2010, when I quit ten days in.

Well, the big update is that this year, I'm NaNoWriMoing again. In that post last month, I talked about the new idea I'd just starting mulling over, and I talked about how much I need deadlines. Early in October, I figured out that my new story concept was novel-sized, and the calendar had a perfect deadline just waiting there. In this case, it's the pressure to start writing on November 1 that I need most, because otherwise I might remain stuck in the planning stage of this novel forever.

This idea requires a lot of worldbuilding, and I've been plugging away at that all month and forcing myself to commit to a bunch of decisions about the story world. My sense of the plot is a lot vaguer than I wish it was, I'm still narrowing in on who the characters are, and nobody has names yet. But I know at least the first few scenes, so I'm going to start writing on Monday, and I guess I'll have to come up with something to call these people by that point.

I'm aiming for 50k in November, but I don't anticipate reaching the end of a novel, or even emerging with a coherent first half. There's so much about this story I'm still imagining, so I'm planning to write scenes as I think of them, expecting that they won't necessarily be in order and may often serve as backstory that doesn't belong in the book at all. I haven't deliberately written this way before, although of course I have written many scenes that were later moved or removed. I hope to find this method useful, and freeing.

I was amused/discouraged to discover that I had the same plan going into my last, failed attempt at NaNoWriMo. (And, yeah, weird fact, my final abandoned NaNo novel was about an apocalyptic pandemic.) This time around, I have a much more solid idea despite all the details left to figure out, and I'm hopeful about staying excited. I'll let you know how it's going, maybe even before the very end of the month.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ R.E. Hawley at PRINT analyzes an popular cover trend in Behold, the Book Blob: "As a marketing tool, cover design can get deployed to bring algorithmic logic back to the physical world. 'If you liked The Vanishing Half, you might also like You Exist Too Much and The Death of Vivek Oji,' these covers seem to murmur enticingly from the bookstore display."

1 comment:

laurenhat said...

Eeee, exciting!! Good luck!!!

Post a Comment