November approacheth.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to read that last episode. Bars with Internet are dangerous things, to say the least. Moving on…

I was going to write something lighter this year for NaNoWriMo. I was going to get a little bit silly and maybe even include the Epic Weasel, the Universe’s first convertible spaceship. Pink planets with wine-cooler oceans, and the revolutionaries who brought them beer. That kind of thing. You know, an autobiography.

Then there was the story with the all-female, all-babealicious NASCAR pit crew, Pit Kittens. A friend came up with the title. I already know the cast – the sinuous, dangerous motorcycle rider, the hot-tempered buxom redhead machinist, the mechanical genius who wears lace beneath her lab coat, and, of course, the twins. Oh, the shenanigans!

But then I got another idea, for a psychological thriller kind of thing, where the man in the middle is just as messed up as the people he is tracking down. That seemed like a pretty good idea, but it’s not growing in my head the way a healthy story does. Two good scenes, a few decent situations, one good character, but it’s stagnating in my head.

So then I got another idea. It’s perfect for NaNoWriMo – it plays out over a set period of time (why not thirty days?) and so in the thirty chapters things can move and change, but continuity won’t be a problem with this one. I’ve gone so far as to outline the thirty chapters. I have some good phrases in my head, and I hope I can remember them when it’s time to pick up the pencil and start the examination.

Except that more than half the time I hate the idea. It’s got lots of great potential for themes touching on the nature of who we are, but it’s dark. Dark done well can make the rare glimpses of light that much brighter, but dark done poorly is just a non-stop bummer. (Speaking of which, last week I had the cover over at Piker Press. It’s a story I particularly like for reasons I can’t put my finger on, but ultimately it lacked the glimpse of light. It was more of a episode than a story, I guess.) But there is light in this dark, dark, story, and it ends on a strong note, with a new voice filled with life and hope. When I’m in a particular mood I love the idea.

I don’t think I can maintain that mood for thirty straight days.

I think it’s time for a new poll…

5 thoughts on “November approacheth.

  1. I try to write frothy every year, and it always turns dark. This year, I am gunning for dark. Either it will turn cheery, in which case I will be happy, or it won’t, in which case I will be in familiar territory.

  2. no plot? no problem.. (as chris so aptly puts it)

    sheesh, i’d stall out, crash n burn, if i tried to think it thru ahead of time!

    I have 2 cool titles (since my challenge to myself is to write 2 different ones,)
    book 1) Mobius Stripped
    Book 2: Bawdy and Sold

    (If ya see my mind, would ya tell it i’m lookin for it please?) Mostly, I just plan to create a strong charecter or two.. then follow em around. THEY’LL eventually tell me what the books about, hehe. regards,

  3. Crap, I’ve got four books that I’ve been cycling through trying to decide for NaNoWriMo, and I think what I’ll actually do is a fifth. I don’t want to be depressed for 30 days, writing dark; I don’t want to try to be funny for 30 days, writing light. What I do know is that I want to print me out a free one when it’s done.

    Jerry, write the good phrases down. That’s not cheating. That’s preserving for the Historical Society.

  4. I was writing a short story yesterday but the idea grew and if I can do it right it’ll be very funny. So my answer is likely to be none of the above as well. I think there are enough different sources that I’ll be able to come up with something 30 days in a row.

  5. My big problem for NaNo is that I had a fairly workable, if formulaic, idea for a story, and I was going to spend most of this month outlining and making character sketches, so I’d be way better prepared than last year, when I had a bunch of great characters but a plot that ran out of steam.

    So a week ago, I was on track until I got struck by a story that WILL NOT WAIT. I’ve got characters, I’ve got plot, I’ve got emotional underpinnings that will wrench all sorts of different parts of the anatomy. And the story is insisting that I get it out onto the printed screen RIGHT NOW.

    If only that story had waited until November 1 to strike. Instead, I’m spending all of my NaNo planning time writing this other thing, so come November, “Murder at the Community College” is likely to end up even more of a disorganized hodgepodge than “The Magnificent What?”

    On the other hand, if I have to finish “Wizards of Winds and Waves” by Nov. 1, it will be on an even tighter leash than a NaNo project — only 23 days instead of 30.

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