If I’d planned to keep a steady word count from the alpha and omega of November, I would be woefully behind and ready to redline on the stress meter. Fortunately, I am old enough to have looked at my commitments–on top of the usual, at least one member of my out-of-town family was here for the first six days of the month–and expect myself to do little more than get the ball rolling. I did have an afternoon of angst when the little time I’d actually set aside to write was accompanied by constant conversation, but I gave myself a sharp reality check and a lecture, then did my best to (mostly) let it go.
So here I am today, just starting the third chapter of Crossroads of America, and dangling at less than 6000 words completed. But the good news is I’m making headway on a project that has languished far too long on the “Gee, I should do that someday” list. So far, I’ve had to look up quick facts on density and gravity of the earth’s mantle, and peak leaf-peeping times for northern Illinois. I’ve chatted it up with my geocache-loving friend, planned a quick fact-checking tour to the Slippery Noodle, and pulled current information for a half dozen other sites around Indy. Also, catacombs! Planetariums! Natural Gas! (Trust me–that last one will make sense.)
My decision to play NaNo was made hoping it would excite me about a new project. Not about finishing an old project, not about revising an almost-ready project. Excited about something completely new and different and challenging.
So I’m waiting for my parents to arrive, and hoping they either beat the line of icky storms or choose to hang out at a coffee shop until it passes.
In the meantime, I’m tinkering with the NaNo project. I’ve decided to focus on the urban fantasy–Crossroads of America–because I (a) have the research at my fingertips, and (b) grew more excited the more I thought about it.
I love the characters. There’s Jacqueline, who prefers to go by Jack–an early-thirties Californian geocaching her way across the country to escape the demons of her past. There’s Luke–an early-thirties martial arts instructor who hangs out with an informal group of folks interested in and/or with an affinity for supernatural matters. There’s Wyatt–a farmer and medium–and Carrie–an intuitive who works with the Indiana Geological Survey And there’s Duncan–Jack’s best friend, who knows the secrets she wants to forget.
On the other side, there’s Mark–a young man who isn’t entirely stable–and the Ditch Devil–who takes full advantage of Mark’s ambition and ego-fueled gullibility.
And I throw all those people into museums, war memorials, old catacombs, and planetariums. And there might be wolves.
I’ve been in love with this concept for years. I want to make it happen!
Familial and work obligations will take the first few days of the month, but I have decided it won’t matter if I “finish” NaNo with 50K words. The who idea of NaNoWriMo is what’s driving me to finally–finally!–give this novel the time it deserves.
Oh yeah… I should probably finish the Sand revisions, too.
And I have signed up. It’ll be my first time.
Now to choose the project.
The contemporary romance novel? The upside is the idea barreled into my thoughts, nicely formed. The downside is I’ve never written romance before, and I must keep reminding myself that—unlike my previous projects—the fate of the world/country/etc. need not hang in the balance for there to be tension. When writing the outline, I kept trying to drop in fantastical or paranormal elements, but none of them worked. And again–I’ve never written romance.
What about the urban fantasy I’ve been kicking around in my head for years? Once upon a time, I had a chapter written, but it has been lost in the multiple moves and computer changes over the last few years. The upside here is I’m jazzed about the ideas, characters and setting the story in Indianapolis. The downside is the reason it’s been kicking around in my head is that I’ve never managed to successfully connect the opening plot points with the climax. NaNo could be the pressure the project needs, or I could end up with little pile of wasted word count. I’d dearly love to have this project work, since I already have ideas and notes for three sequels.
Then there are other projects that wouldn’t fall under Official NaNo because they’re partials or major revisions—The Drunkard, The Slaughterer, Breath of Stone… I thought of giving myself the goal to finish Sand of Bone revisions, but despite a few recent potholes, those seem to be ticking along just fine now.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Anyone else tossing about project ideas for NaNo?