I’m two days into NaNoWriMo, feeling a little bit sturdier today than yesterday.
I had a lot of options for story ideas, to the point that up until Halloween I couldn’t decide on what to write, and considered skipping the whole thing. I have a pile of ideas that I started work on and abandoned, either because I lost steam with it, it became too difficult, or I couldn’t get my agent or editor on board with it. I thought of reviving one of those and taking a month to see what i could make of it, but the problem was each idea had a *reason* why I stopped working on it.
Most of them felt a little too complex to insist I can make a word count every day. I wanted to find something kind of simple, a character study or something a little weird or off that I could just start writing without the need for a ton of world building or high concepts or concrete structure work.
What I settled on is pretty character based, and simple. There’s a lot of things I’ve learned about myself and life in the past couple years, and I guess I’m trying to write something for a teenage me. Or a teenage anyone like me, who could probably stand to hear that they’re not that different and that things will be okay (maybe?). At least that’s the plan. I’m mining a lot of material from my own life, and fictionalizing it for the story, and it’s kind of anxiety-inducing and not an especially pleasant place to visit and I’m not sure there’s any market for this at all, I’m just writing from the gut and seeing where it goes and what I’ll end up with at the end of the month. Maybe I’ll just put it on my website when it’s all done, or self-publish it for anyone that’s interested in reading it.
I think if you liked Happyface you might like it, it’s kind of a patchwork time-bouncing nonlinear thing. Maybe I can take the pieces and strengthen them after.
Also taking into mind that I have something of a mind for editing now and knowing that each of these 1500-2000 words are basically just barfing up something to have on paper and that afterwords I can amp up conflict, make funnier jokes, think of better ways to describe something, add more details, more sensory information, exactly what kind of car is he driving and in what town did that character stop, etc.
But for now it’s just tossing a lot of words down and seeing where they take me! This is a different experience, I’m generally a capital-P Plotter and capital-O Outliner. That’s what NaNoWriMo is all about, right? Write!