November is just around the corner, and for most aspiring writers that means it’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWritMo for short – where the objective / challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel within a month. Or at least the first draft of a novel, as there is the time constraint placed on completing this task, so the (ideal) goal is to just keep writing without editing. This will be my second year participating in this seemingly impossible yet attainable feat – I was unable to complete the task last year, as I tend to plot, edit and research while I write, so that “distracted” me from actually writing the novel. I suppose that makes me more a Plotter than a Pantser, as (evidenced by many of my blog posts) I like to know where the overall plot is headed and prefer to fully (or as fully as possible) realize my characters’ personalities, motivations and overall appearance.
Interestingly enough, the process of writing that (unfinished) novel prompted a new wave of ideas and attracted a whole bunch of plot bunnies that prompted me to refocus my energies towards the Epic Saga. The novel I had proposed to and started to write was the fan fiction novel Carpe Noctem, based on characters from the short-lived Broadway musical Dance of the Vampires. While I was unable to finish that novel within the month deadline, it did spark the aforementioned ideas and plot bunnies, and brought into perspective an angle to the Epic Saga (known as the MASC Chronicles) that was innovative and intriguing. I’m still working on Carpe Noctem, both plotting and writing , and hope to publish it one day (though I’d need to figure out how to get permission to use the handful of characters that are not of my own creation – I figure I’d cross that bridge when I’m closer to completing that tale).
But I digress (slightly).
This year’s NaNoWritMo entry is a novel of my own creation, though (very) loosely inspired by other works – in fact, it will be the first novel in the first series of the three-part Epic Saga, entitled One More Angel In Heaven. I have made preliminary outlines and have a general (vague) idea how the mystery will unfold, though the exact details have yet to be determined. Most of the main characters have been selected and generally developed, though I presume that their personalities and motives and motivations will change once I start writing.
Writing within a specified timetable with a hard deadline has never been my strong suit, as I’ve been plotting and thinking about these stories over the past two decades (albeit on and off – real life does “interrupt” the writing process) – there have been times where I don’t write a single word or even think about the novels, and there are other times when that’s all I think about, leading to hours of plotting, researching and writing, resulting in a few chapters of narrative (as well as Word files full of character and plot development).
Perhaps that’s the “trouble” in the way I write – the ideas and Muses come and go as they please – it’s something that is beyond my control. I have plans to write a total of 36 books (most of which will be novels, and at least one collection of short stories) for the MASC Chronicles – all of which have been given titles (though for most of the saga that’s all I’ve got written down). Each series will be interconnected with one another at some level, but for the most part each series within the Saga could stand alone from one another (I have yet to determine whether or not that will be the case).
Actually, my aforementioned inability to write within a specific timetable is not quite true, as I’ve managed to keep to my weekly schedule of writing something for this blog. I’ve been diligent and successful in posting a blog each week since I first started this blog over 6 months ago – though whether or not the topic of each week’s blog has been relevant to my writing process is debatable, but then again these are random musings on various topics, and not a continuous narrative flow.
Nevertheless, as this week is the final week before NaNoWritMo gets underway, I thought it apt to write down my musings on the nature of setting and sticking to deadlines and specific timetables. With any luck I will succeed in completing the NaNoWritMo objective, and for those few weeks in November, I’ll probably be posting updates on my progress [as I do intend to keep to writing a blog entry each week.)
November is bound to be quite an interesting month, though I know I’ll be distracted by outside, real world things, such as the airing of the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who (of which I hope I will be able to watch online, as there are plans for concurrent global airing), the UK airings of the final four Poirot episodes (of which I know I’ll have to painstakingly wait at least 6 months or so for the US airing of the last five episodes – the first of the last batch of Poirot episodes aired earlier in June), the US Thanksgiving holiday, and whatever else might happen next month.
Wish me luck.