I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month for the past two years and really enjoyed the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month. I have to admit that both years I’ve used the month’s challenge to further works already in progress rather than starting something brand new as per the “rules of the game,” so to speak. Neither have I hit 50k words in one month either time, (ha ha). It has, nevertheless, been a lot of fun.
This year for NaNoWriMo I’m going to approach the challenge somewhat laid back. I have several works in progress that I’m very much interested in completing before starting yet another new project, and I’m already at a loss as to which story or stories to finish hashing out first. Here is a peek at what I’m working on right now.
I’m currently working on a piece based on a short story I wrote and submitted a few places, including a Writer’s Digest contest a couple of years ago, without success at finding it a home. In truth, the story still needed a lot of work. I abandoned it for a long time but still liked the premise enough that I really wanted to resurrect it at some point and rework it. A couple months ago I agreed to help a grad student with a study on the effectiveness of prewriting exercises and used this great opportunity to take the things I liked out of the old story, gut it, and begin writing it anew from scratch to turn it into something bigger. Somewhat like what I’ve done with Maladaptive Bind, I’m working on expanding this story into a full-length novel (only the bigger story has a completely different conflict and cast of characters this time). I’m currently calling this story Alien Skin, although I may adjust this title later. The basic premise is that a young married couple has crash-landed on a moon that once served as an alien penal colony. The moon’s atmosphere is so poisonous that no one (of any alien species) can survive on it’s surface without undergoing a drastic procedure that adapts their physiology to the environment. I don’t want to give away too much more than that for now, but that’s the basic idea.
I’m also working on a slightly less dark and potentially somewhat humorous story I’m calling Daily Moisture. It’s about a young man who’s wife has turned into a troll after using a bottle of lotion his creepy, sorceress mother gave her as a wedding gift, and he has to haggle with his mother to win back his wife’s humanity. I also began this story with the intention of making it into something short, but the opening scene is almost 3.5k words long…much longer than I was expecting. This could turn into a novella or even a novel. I’m not sure yet quite how long it’s going to be…or exactly where it’s going for that matter.
I also have three or four short stories I’m currently writing or am actively planning to improve in the near future, including one of the stories I submitted to Writers of the Future this year. I’ve got quite a full list of projects to choose from. I also had an idea to write a really awful short story (the worst writing I can do) every day of NaNoWriMo just for defiant kicks and giggles. Or I may take a vacation from writing this month to focus completely on grad school applications…I don’t know. We’ll see.
What are your plans for NaNoWriMo?
(Don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? Here’s a link to their website one more time where you can find out more: www.nanowrimo.org.)