Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like NaNo(WriMo)

Yes, October approaches: planning month for the annual madness that is National Novel Writing Month, in which thousands of writers, proto-writers, would-be writers and pseudo writers each attempt to write one 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Writing begins at midnight local time as Halloween ticks over into Hallowmas, otherwise known as November 1 and continues until the very last stroke of November 30. It’s crazy, it’s exhausting, and it’s possible if you give every free minute to it and don’t get distracted by inconsequential things like eating and sleeping. Allowances must be made, of course, for the job that pays for the electricity that powers the computer. If you can possibly send the kids to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving a little early, it’s highly recommended.

It is the purest of contests, there being no way to cheat and no point in doing so, because there are no prizes, just the glory of accomplishment and the right to a long winter’s nap. Why do it then? Are you mad? To actually write a whole novel, of course, beginning to end, just like you’ve always meant to. It’s just a first draft, of course. It’s not very good, but it may have promise. It may even have flashes of brilliance. Or ninjas. There’s a vague prospect of its one day becoming a best seller and getting made into a movie. (Don’t believe me? “Water for Elephants”. Yes, a NaNo novel, though presumably much revised from its first fervid form.)

So by now you are (one devoutly hopes) eagerly waiting for me to tell you what this year’s book will be about. I know I’ve posted a couple of prospective titles, but little more. The truth is, I'm currently gnashing my teeth trying to settle what I'm going to do! I've got a bunch of characters, research, and interesting ideas for two, possibly three, different things but not an actual story line for any of them. A mystery with a Victorian Nick and Nora Charles? Elizabethan faerie fantasy? Paranormal romance set in the 1940s? A Ben and Raven adventure? Not a clue.

As my muse appears to be on holiday in the Bahamas (again),  I may decide to focus on expanding/cleaning up the last two instead of starting a new one. Last year’s Mermaid Stair still has big holes in the manuscript saying things like “and here a miracle occurs”. King’s Raven also needs some expansion, if I can do that without slowing down the pace. Is there another 50K in all that? Hard to say. It’s not the same kind of project as a new novel, and not as exciting for you all to follow along, or for me to do, but necessary.

So please cross your fingers that over the next five weeks the faerie diary finally falls open to the right page (bad jokes and all) and a miracle occurs, yet again. 

Clap if you believe in faeries!

The winners of the review contest are Kat Porter and Gail Hanson, both from California! Each chose an autographed copy of the Compendium Knowledge, choosing  Thanks to  everyone who entered.


  1. You just need to make sure that you can moderate your momentum and keep going. That's always the biggest issue for me and I think the kind of project you're doing will mean that's huge for you too!

  2. The basic for the new book are in hand, at last. I'd have shared it already, but I've actually been so involved in the preliminary work, I haven't had a spare minute. JimDear had to remind me to eat last night--this is probably a good sign. :-)