“May you live in interesting times…”
- Purported to be a Chinese proverb to an enemy, source unknown
My job has been keeping me busy lately, (which is both good and stressful at the same time), so I’ve not had as much time to write blog posts, or more importantly prepping for NaNoWriMo, as I would have liked, (yes, I know readers to my blog are important, but it’s kind of pointless having a writing blog, if you don’t write).
November is going to be a tough month, but I’m confident I’ll be able to handle it – both my job, and the ridiculous number of challenges I’ve set myself this year. In previous years I’ve loaned out my Xbox, and blu ray player during NaNoWriMo to void myself of distractions.
Now this year, I live alone, and have other alternatives. I’ve got a whole spare bedroom which I’ve not really been utilising as well I had intended, but its perfect distraction free environment. Its only flaw is that it’s two flights of stairs away from the kettle – but I’ve got a thermos jug, so that should see me through extended writing stints. I’ve got everything I need now for it to be a home office, (library, keyboard, mice, monitor). It needs a bit of setting up still to be quite right, but it’ll do.
That’s my big plan for this weekend, getting it all setup and organised.
Of course that and I’ll deal with some planning issues. Pretty serious planning issues, which is the real reason for this post.
For a while I was really struggling to come up with an idea I could do. I had loads of ideas, some of them were reworks of old novels, others were original, (however I then decided most of them were derivative in some form or another). I knew I needed something special, given all my goals from this year’s NaNoWriMo, and I just wasn’t finding it.
I actually started writing a post bemoaning my lack of success, however moaning wouldn’t help, so on a train trip down to that there London, I got myself a nice fresh book, a new pen, (because fresh starts require fresh materials in my mind), and set up about going through my existing ideas looking for something I’ve overlooked, or accepting just because an idea might share some commonalities with a popular story or two, doesn’t mean it should be abandoned, (I mean a Sun Hero type story with a young mage set in a fantasy world, doesn’t have to be anything like Harry Potter – though my idea did involve his particular gift being for wielding lightning, which just crossed a line with me).
Luck, or the proverbial Muse, or whatever you want to call inspiration, was with me, I hit upon a new idea, and set up about plotting it out. It’s very different from all my other ideas this year, it’s got scope and challenge, it’s broad in its sweep, but with a core of characters that I can really flesh out.
I’ve got quite a few pages of notes already written, still got many more to go, and I need to do some time lines (before and after the start of the story). My only concern is whether I can hit the word count target I’ve set myself, I’m aiming for 200,000 words, but if I do that, I think it’ll be a lot of waffle, and the story telling might not be so clear, which goes against one of my challenges. I think it might be worth letting go of that one goal, and would be sensible considering I do have a job to do as well. I’ll keep the 50,000 words on the first day goal – that may or may not be achievable, but it’s really fun to try.
Another bit of preparation I want to do is some art work. A temporary cover to put on the NaNoWriMo novel profile page, but also illustrations from key scenes, objects, and people, make it easier to do the descriptive writing challenge.
So all in all, things are looking up. Roll on NaNoWriMo in just 44 days.