Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

All this blogging I’ve done this month has been an excellent exercise for getting ready for NaNoWriMo.  For those that don’t know (and that refuse to click the link I just gave you), NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month.  The idea is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  That’s how you “win.”  This is my second year trying it.  Last year, I was not successful.

The novel I’ve been working on was started last year.  I’ve only just recently hit 30,000 words, and it’s been a year.

If I’m so abysmally slow at writing fiction, how will I possibly succeed this year?

For starters, I’m going to be doing a much simpler project.  Let’s look at some of the features of my current novel, A Clean Slate.

  • It’s a “troupe” style fantasy, meaning I need to flesh out and maintain four characters right from the get-go.
  • It is a somewhat involved social commentary.
  • The troupe of characters have amnesia, so it’s challenging coming up with interesting dialog for them.  They can’t really talk about their past, or their families, since they don’t remember any of that.
  • This troupe of characters are secretly villains.

In short, I gave myself some stipulations right from the start which makes it challenging to actually get the words on the page.  I think I’ve done a good job so far, but it’s a somewhat complicated story to tell, and I sort of have to take it slow just to keep it all straight and coherent.

This new project doesn’t have those stipulations.  In fact, I’m doing it in first person.

My main character is one that I used in a roleplaying game a few years ago.  He’s a fun character.  He’s a bit of a hedonist with a southern drawl.  He lives in the present, but he has a special ability that lets him see the past.  I love this guy’s voice, and I love his flippant attitude.

In short, torturing this character should be a lot of fun.  My goal is to make the story as fun as a Harry Dresden book.

You could say that this whole month of October has been research for my project in November.  I’ve been listening to the Dresden Files books (and loving them), and I’ve been writing this blog, which is first person.  It’s a different voice, but it’s still valid practice.  And, I’ve been writing a blog post every day, which is the same kind of dedication I’ll need to getting 50,000 words completed in a novel.

I can do it this year.  I can do it, and I’m going to have fun doing it.

Then in December, I can go back to finishing A Clean Slate.  And maybe in January or February, while trying to get A Clean Slate out, I can polish up my still unnamed work, and get it ready to sell a little while longer.

I have a really good feeling about this.