Yeah, so my roommates and friends are all out running around Savannah (one of the most haunted cities in the US) in costume. I am home by myself working on a half dozen miscellaneous projects and putting off thinking about NaNoWriMo even as the hours tick towards midnight. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — is an open challenge to write a 50,000 word (or longer) novel in 30 days during the month of November. This will be my seventh year participating. I’ve “won” twice in the past by reaching 50,000 words in 2006 and 2007. Of course, all you win is street cred, bragging rights, and a pretty certificate, but I like occasions that force me to put down the words because that’s always the hardest part.
Similar challenges that force me to draw x things over y time are also fun — I had wanted to participate in Inktober, but I found out about it too late and didn’t like the idea of having to catch up on a “one thing a day”-type challenge. I plan on doing my own “Inkbebruary” in February instead because February is the soonest I’ll be stationary for an entire month.
Anyway, back to NaNoWriMo. November has always been a terrible month for such an event because of the number of other things I have to deal with, but I think this year takes the cake because on top of finals, various birthdays, leaving school for the winter break (including a day or two of travel where no writing will get done), and Thanksgiving, I’ll be leaving for Tokyo on November 27th and probably not taking my laptop with me, thereby cutting the month-long event short by at least three days. So. 50,000 in 25 or so days. Awesome.
There is also the problem of the story.
Throughout the years, I’ve done various levels of pre-planning, but the most was a haphazard “full” outline that had a beginning, most of a middle, and kind of an end. The middle is usually what kills me. Starting is easy. Having an ending in mind isn’t that hard either, but getting from point A to point B and filling out the 50,000 word quota is hard. I also have a bad habit of just dropping off and not actually finishing the story after I hit the 50,000 words. The official NaNoWriMo goal is to make it to 50,000, but actually finishing the story is probably a good idea too…
This year, I’m kind of at a loss as to what to write about (which is kind of bad with… an hour left until the local starting time). I am thinking of doing a re-write of my 2006 novel to 1) finish it, 2) make it suck less, 3) so I can use it as an lengthy guideline for a graphic novel based on general story I want to pitch to VIZ Media soonish. I guess it would still count since I wouldn’t be revising the original (it’s terrible beyond revision!), but rewriting the idea completely from scratch. I just also think it’s kind of lame to do a repeat NaNo novel and am somewhat worried I’d get bored with it because of such. Then again, you’d think I’d get bored of some of my stories after passing them around in my head for years and years and years. Some of the stories in my head I’ve been working on for seven or eight years. :\
I always toy around with the idea of just going into November and writing about whatever the hell comes to mind, but I think that would just lead into a lot of blank staring at my word processor and not getting anything done at all. I think I at least need to have a character in mind and a goal for that character to be the most basic premise of the story; all the twists and tragic details and come later, but a character and a point are the most important things to start off with.
Ho hum. Fifty-four minutes left on the clock. As man times as I’ve done it by now, I still don’t know what to expect out of this. Last year I broke my brief winning streak. Am I gonna get it back or is it the start of a new fail streak?