FYI, I added a new page to my site–one that describes the Ntombian Langauge. Its under the Matriarchies of Murin page if you’re curious.
The following post was written last week for my blog on my erotica publisher Forbidden Fiction Publishing. Hope everyone enjoys it!
It’s October. That means that next month is November. In just three week’s I’ll be starting the madness that is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I’m pretty sure that most people here know what NaNo is. The challenge to write a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days is fairly well known. I’ve done it for the last four or five years, producing something that was over 50K every single time, though one year I ended up telling a completely different story than the one I started with.
In the beginning, the first time I did NaNo, it was a huge horrendous challenge. Something that looked absolutely impossible until I sat down and started writing. But as the days went on and I kept piling up words it got easier. Exhausting, brain-twisting and not necessarily quality producing, but it did get easier. I actually could write something every day, something which I hadn’t been sure of before.
Seeing that completed draft encouraged me to sit down and write every single day over the next year until my second NaNo came around. That one was the one where the story I had planned failed utterly so I went off to work on something else and then failed at that too because I had no plans. I learned a lesson that year. Plots are wonderful things and having one can make the difference between success and failure.
Which, of course, was something that prompted me to work on plotting my stories better over the year; I worked hard at developing a proper plot outline, and on doing better world building. That was a fun year, honestly, full of stories that I still look back at and enjoy. By the time my third NaNo rolled around I was ready with a huge plot outline that I thought would be somewhere close to 100K. That meant writing around 3500 words per day but for a full month I managed it. By the time November 2008 was over I had one of my favorite fanfic stories ever.
But writing that story had meant that I let several other good stories slide by the wayside. I never quite got caught up over the year as new plot bunnies hit me and new projects took precedence over the stories that had gotten set aside. In 2009 I decided to finish things rather than setting everything aside for a mad rush at a new NaNo story. It was a good choice in my opinion, letting me finish what I wanted and not feel like I was letting my readers or myself down.
In 2010 I wrote a new original story in a new world, Daughter of Chaos. In 2011 I wrote Secrets of the Artificer Mages, which I finally felt good enough about to submit for publication to FFP. To my delight, it was accepted and here I am, working on editing it for publication as another NaNo rolls around.
So now I’m pondering which story I want to write for this year’s NaNo. I’m not at all worried about making the 50K goal. On average I’ve written 50K words every month this year, other than September which was lower than normal due to a two-week long interruption of my writing schedule for work and vacation. It’s more a question of what story do I want to work on. What world do I want to play in?
I could write the sequel of Secrets, which is quite appealing. I like the symmetry of writing the second book during NaNo. There’s a side story to Secrets that I’m currently working on that could be my NaNo project just as easily. Or I could write a third original story that stalled out a while back that’s fun and flirty and full of my favorite kinks. Then again, I could write something totally new, though I don’t have a world or plot ready for something like that.
Either way, I’m looking forward to NaNo hitting. Not because I’ll have that challenge to meet but because NaNo has helped me grow as a writer every single year since I heard of it. There’s something about devoting a month to writing, to telling my husband ‘no, I’ve got to finish my words for the day’ and being believed, that’s magical. Most of the time I carve my writing time out where I can get it. It’s always a struggle. During NaNo, perhaps because it’s an official thing with a website and emails and other people doing it, my writing takes precedence. I have permission, encouragement, to devote myself to finishing my story. That’s a lovely feeling given that most of the time my writing isn’t something that my husband or friends pay any attention to.
I don’t know yet which story I’ll write this November but I’m looking forward to it either way.