Last year, I took November off from writing the 50K challenge that is The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The reason was my book, through my publisher, was supposed to be released by December 3rd and I thought I’d be using the month of November to promote it. Well, as you may know by now, it was never to be. The cover never got completed, the edits weren’t finished, and the final manuscript was supposed to be sent to distributors six weeks out (the middle of October) from the release date. None of that happened.
In addition, my publisher said that NaNo was for amateurs and writer wannabes. Oh? When December came along I saw a lot of my Twitter friends, well-established authors, comment about participating in NaNo and having a foundation for their next novel. I truly felt like I missed out on something special. But not this year! I plan to return to NaNoLand and take the challenge by the throat!
Give Me A Deadline!
If this is your first time in learning about NaNoWriMo, then let me direct you to my post from last year that gives a full rundown of the challenge and advice on how to complete it. Go ahead and read that article first and then come back here and finish this one. It’s all right, I’ll be here when you return. 🙂
Welcome back! As I mentioned in the previous article, I like NaNo because I gives me a word challenge and a deadline. The main thing I seriously lack in my writing is the discipline to put butt in seat and write a story. ANY story. I currently have the discipline as I am writing this article because I know I want to get it done and I have a deadline of Monday, so I can upload it in conjunction with the Monday Blogs hashtag.
From December through to October, I don’t really have a deadline to abide by. I mean, I do set myself deadlines and then I enjoy listening to the whooshing sound they make as they speed right by me. This is where personal discipline needs to come into play because, for the most part, you’re on your own. Now, if you have a contract with a publishing company, you might be given a deadline for when your next book is due or, at least, a month in which they want to see your manuscript.
For the rest of us, it’s on us to make our own deadlines. Simply put, if you want your book available for purchase in December, then you better well everything completed, or close to completion, by the end of November. It’s up to you.
A New Fantasy Story
For my NaNo this year, I’m going to take an idea that I tried and failed in 2011 and couple it with characters from my 2010 challenge. Yes, that sounds weird but, I you don’t know me by now, I am weird and take pride in it!
My 2011 challenge was called The Summer of Monsters and I had this group of kids solving mysteries that were linked together involving some type of monster. It was set in modern day Arizona, a fictional town called Ciudad (Spanish for “City”). It was a series of short stories linked together with this group who called themselves, the Ciudad Amateur Detectives and Explorers or C.A.D.E. for short. I only accomplished 8 days of the challenged and promptly quit for two reasons. 1)My heart just wasn’t in the challenge. Probably, because I did it every year for the last 6 years and 2)For some reason, I just can’t write about a contemporary setting, even if it’s a fictional town. It just seems so…dull.
My 2010 challenge was called 30 Days at Quenchers and was supposed to be book 1 of an open-ended series featuring my character, Jarryd McCallen. To this day, I still haven’t completely written the novel. I have a good foundation but I lack the desire and discipline to go and finish it. I hope to soon. The bulk of the characters in that story are former ones I used in role-playing Dungeons and Dragons, so it was like writing about old friends. Yet, that still wasn’t enough.
This year, I’m taking the C.A.D.E. idea and putting it in a Fantasy setting. This was an idea I was going to launch after Jarryd’s 3rd or 4th book, but I’ve decided to try and write it right now. Seeing that my trilogy, The Askinar Towers featured children, I thought let’s try this idea and see if I can get another ‘X’ in the Win column. The idea will be six short stories all linked together under the main title of The Chest of Dark Wonders.
The main character will be Candace, a ten year old girl who is part dragon. She lives with her father; halfling thief, Roland Haberdasher and Roland’s grandmother, Granny Haberdasher. She will be joined on her adventures by an orc, two gnomes and troll. The setting is a small village named Caldera Falls which is just a few miles away from Ciudad, the capital city.
Each of the six stories will feature an item from the chest and have an adverse affect on an individual that comes in contact with it. It will be up to Candace and her friends to solve each problem and find the link to them. I’m shooting for 10K words per story, so that should net me 60K overall which will be a new high for me! The highest I went previously, was 200 over 50K.
What about you? Are you up for the challenge of writing 50K words in 30 Days? If not, share with me what you to do discipline yourself to keep butt in chair. Also, do you adhere to the deadlines you give yourself? Feel free to comment or ask questions!!
You can track me down on the NaNoWriMo website under the screen name: Tower_Keeper.