Monday, October 28, 2019

Wait, It's Almost NaNoWriMo?

It’s pretty characteristic of me to know for a whole year that NaNoWriMo is coming, and then to be shocked that it’s almost here. *wails* I thought I had more time! Also, I can't believe this is going to be my sixth NaNoWriMo.

Last year, I worked on a couple projects: PLANET EYES, which I finished and queried, and BMT, which fought me, and which I did not finish. This November, I am going to tackle BMT as a NaNo novel for the third time. (At this point, medical professionals swarm me, straightjacket and cattle prods at ready. As I’m dragged away, you hear me screaming that I can do it, no, I really can do it.)

Last November, I had a small breakthrough where I figured out all the things that were driving me nuts about the story. I even made a list. It was a very long and detailed list, and while it was helpful to know the problem, the project stalled at that point. Knowing the problem doesn’t constitute knowing the solution.

Over the past year, I picked up the story off and on, only to find myself burning out repeatedly. I loved the concept of BMT, or at least, I felt like I still loved it. Everything else I had started to hate. When I opened the Scrivener file, my brain would grind to a halt and refuse to produce words, any words, until it had recovered from the shock.

During that time, I was more heavily focused on several other projects, the primary one being the book I plan to start querying soon. Then, almost out of nowhere, I had a breakthrough and I was sure, sure! that this was the breakthrough I had been waiting for. And I did ride a little momentum, but again, I lost traction after a few scenes and felt myself spinning away endlessly.

In August, I took a break from writing to do a seven-books-in-seven-days reading challenge with my sister, and after that, it felt like my brain switched into high gear. I had yet another breakthrough, this one building on the one from before. I switched out the narrator, reimagined the characters and the direction of the plot, and just like that, I was able to write about 20,000 words.

This NaNoWriMo, I plan to finish the first/second draft hybrid of BMT, and if that means drinking seven cups of coffee a day, then so be it. *starts screaming uncontrollably*

I don’t exactly have a set word count goal, but I guess if I had to pick something, I would say I want to write no less than 50,000 words, preferably more than 100K. I’m not trying to push myself to perform some fantastic feat of literary showmanship—I just want to complete at least two drafts.

Aside from BMT, there’s another project I want to tackle this month. From now on, I will refer to it as ZOMBIE FARMHOUSE, because it doesn’t haven’t a title yet. It will probably be the most ridiculously unpublishable thing I’ve ever written. I’m so excited.

When Victoria @ The Endless Oceans of My Mind came all the way from Australia to visit me this summer, she introduced me to a game where you write jobs (like doctor or janitor) on slips of paper and put them in one bowl, and attributes (like, is afraid of lightning, or, has killed seven men) in another bowl. Then you draw pieces of paper, one from each bowl, until you end up with a list of people (like, a neuroscientist who believes she’s a mermaid, or, a surgeon who doesn’t believe in germs). You have a scenario—in this case, you’re trying to last the night in a farmhouse besieged by zombies—and from your list of people, you have to pick the team you think will help you survive. This is not necessarily as easy as it sounds.

We played several rounds of this game, but one in particular had us laughing uncontrollably, and Victoria told me I should turn it into a book. So that’s what I’m doing. There’s a chance it will be even worse than I could have ever hoped. There’s a chance I may even publish it on my blog, if I feel like risking my writing career. Who knows? But I have character and story notes, I have an outline, and I am ready to see what happens. *cracks knuckles* Plus I love zombies. I get the feeling zombie books don’t sell as well now that the market is saturated, so this is the time to do it, while I’m unpublished and don’t have to worry about deadlines.

If I end up running out of writing material mid-month, I’ll think of something else, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself. I really liked how last year went. I got a lot of writing done, but I didn’t get stressed out like I did the year I wrote 606,606 words, so I’m going to try to do that again. Here’s to another relaxing year. *raises mug* *accidentally spills coffee on keyboard*

What about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are your projects and goals?


  1. Wow, that sounds like some amazing plans! I really like the Zombie Farmhouse idea. XD Maybe it's not marketable, but it sounds hilarious! I'm beginning to realize it's good to have a side project that's only for fun so that I learn to take the stress away from writing. I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year, but I'm definitely not a veteran. I usually draft huge, but I'm tired of having a too many words to work with while editing. XD So I'm hoping to write less words than I normally would. But really, whatever it takes to finish the first draft, that's what I'll do.


  3. That Zombie idea sounds like so much fun!!! And that game, though! Sounds very entertaining!