October 1st is just around the corner. Usually, I tell myself to gather ideas for NaNoWriMo during the off months, and then plot and outline in October. The year I had a detailed outline was my best year of writing. (But then I also didn’t have a kid, so that plays a huge role, too.)
This year I kept rummaging through my ideas, trying to find a few that could merit a 50,000 word story. I had plenty of time, since my goal to plan and outline in October was a few months away yet. That is, until I “woke up” this past week and realized that October was upon me.
So, what am I looking for in this year’s NaNoWriMo?
- An idea that doesn’t require a lot of research. Really, this is sad, but true. Now that I am just under five weeks away from sitting my butt down and typing like my life depended upon it, I don’t have the time anymore to do even partial research on new ideas (i.e. Civil War era, ancient Greece, etc.). If I had decided earlier this year on one idea, and started the research, then there would be no problem. So, now, that leaves me with my basic “go-to” settings.
- Something challenging, even if it’s set in my best genre. As with every NaNo year, I try to challenge myself in some way. One year I tried science fiction, which seemed to work well since I did it another year. I attempted a romance — which didn’t work so well. My best victorious year was in my favorite genre, Medieval fantasy, but the challenge there was writing an outline ahead of time and sticking to my plot. I also tried writing between to main female characters. Another year I tried something totally new: a modern mystery, but a comedy. I was 9 months pregnant then, so I needed something crazy and not too stressful. So what will I choose this year for my challenge? I’ve thought about making each chapter a mini-episode of something greater, which basically would require me to have an overall plot with about 10 to 15 smaller plots for the “short stories”. That was a great idea until I let the months pass by without working on options.
- The discovery of a new coffeehouse. It has to be conducive to my writing, allowing my “creative juices to flow”. A normal Starbucks is like writing at a grocery cafeteria, in my opinion. Stressful and busy. What I’d like is an Aroma’s here in San Diego, but that isn’t going to happen. My needs are few, though. First, I need to feel comfortable with sitting in a corner for hours on end. If they want me out in one to two hours, I’m not going to be able to get anything done. Second, this corner needs to have windows somewhere nearby so I can look outside and see the world I’m missing in November. Also, I can get tired of looking at people in the cafe’ because they tend to discover that I’m staring at them. Awkward. Third, I’d prefer not to drive too far. That would only lessen the amount of time spent towards writing.
So, even with all the changes that have happened this year, I still intend on writing that 50,000 word novel. I am not sure yet what it will be, though. I’d love to hear of some ideas! (No plots, though.) Comment and tell me what challenge you think I should undertake, or what some settings you’d like me to write about.