November is National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org), known affectionately as NaNo to those of us crazy enough to participate. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month and perhaps complete that novel that you’ve always dreamed of. No self-editing, no rewriting, and no worrying about anything but getting the words on the page. I’ve done NaNo for the last three years and have completed it for the last two. Yup! That makes me a freaking winner!!! In 2011, I wrote Saving Emily from start to finish and blogged about the process here. It took several more months to rewrite and edit before Emily was ready for release. Last year, I went for completing the 50K word count and didn’t worry about finishing the book in the time given – it was too large a project for NaNo. Those words were part of The Embassy Guards. Getting all the words down on the page made me a winner.
I have no idea what the hell I’m going to write this year, but I need to decide pretty damn quick.
I have a couple projects in the back of my head, but I’d been taking some time off. My latest unnamed standalone suspense novel turned into a slog (for me) and I’m inclined to set it aside. I did this when I wrote A Shared Fear. I knew I had a good book but it wasn’t flowing, so I let it set and wrote Blood Link III – The Civilian. Focusing on something else took the pressure off me, and when I came back to A Shared Fear, it rolled right out.
With only two weeks to go, I’ll need to choose the project and lay out the novel. I can work blind, but I’ve found it’s better with NaNo to have a clue where I’m going. My list includes a plot outline and rough chapter schedule so I can meet my major plot points.
The other thing I need to do is alter my personal schedule. If I’m pushing the word count then I should warn my friends that I won’t be around as much, pay the bills in advance so I won’t forget, and warn the girl dog that she’ll have to be much more vocal in getting my attention to go out. I’m not telling the cat anything – she’ll use it against me.
Mr. Scott shall have to be forewarned also. He really doesn’t mind NaNo as my distraction often affords him the opportunity to practice his hunting and gathering skills. None of those skills are particularly healthy as he has a tendency to hunt between the closest fast food places and he gathers way too much Taco Bell than is good for us. This being said, I should also spend a little time in the next two weeks cooking a few things that can go in the freezer. And you should all buy stock in bag-o-salad since I sure as hell won’t be spending time making my own.
Oh!!! And names for my characters – yeah – I definitely need names. Something short and quick to type… like Ed or Sue…