I never really planned to make NaNoWriMo a yearly thing. And I certainly never thought that I would eventually become a Municipal Liaison (ML) for my region! But circumstances being what they are, I decided to step up and give it a try. (This step up also involved getting a shiny new laptop to replace my decrepit 2007 Gateway.)
I’ve been attempting NaNoWriMo in earnest since 2012. I had been wanting to take a crack at it since my days in grad school, but (obviously) didn’t have the time to give when all my brain power was being spent in simply trying to pass uber-difficult science classes.
I had also been stuck in the idea that you had to start a “proper novel” from the very beginning for NaNo, which looking back is so ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how you get those 50,000 words down – it only matters that you sit down and write them.
So I spent 2012’s attempt working my way through a thirty word prompt table, writing Fan Fiction. I only got to about 37K on my word count, but it was more than I had ever written on a single project before, so I was utterly thrilled. I eventually finished that prompt table (and the stories I started there), getting over 82K by the next summer.
2013’s attempt saw me revisit the Fan Fiction well that had worked splendidly the previous year. During grad school in 2008, I had plodded away on a novel-length fic for Jewel Riders, getting about 30K words over a few years. I decided that five years was pushing my ability to care about the outcome of that fic, and so I used NaNo to finish it. At 96K words, it still stands as the longest single thing I’ve written to date. (And probably one of the longest time spans beginning to end for a fic author to actually finish something, haha!)
In 2014, I blended fic and original to write Theodore & Tippetarius in Oz, a genderbent mashup version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz, and Ozma of Oz. I got to about 62K with it, but the story sadly remains unfinished, and in desperate need of an overhaul/rewrite. I really did love it though, and by genderbending the characters I think I finally get why gay guys love these so much. (Side note: I bought a ridiculous amount of Oz comics, magazines, and movies during this time period. I also listened to the Return to Oz movie soundtrack almost on repeat, and dug deeply into the Oz Wiki. Thank the maker for the Oz Wiki.)
Once I found out my application for ML had been approved for 2015, I was left at a bit of a crossroads. What to write this year? My initial yearlong plan from January had involved working on How to Think Sideways from Holly Lisle during the middle of the year, and using NaNo to finish up my novel The Book of Remembrance. I sadly didn’t get as far along in HTTS as I might have hoped (I’m going to just blame it on summer ennui), so TBoR wasn’t anywhere near ready from its development stages to actually begin working on.
That left me in a quandary. Should I take another idea I’ve been toying around with and just run with that? Or should I just write some more Fan Fiction? But then it came to me: Flash Fiction. Dividing the 50K words for the month over 500 words per story means that I could theoretically complete 100 Flash stories. Even if half are no good, I should have several months worth of releases completed by the end of November.
And bonus! My squirrel-like brain will get to flit between multiple genres! So far, I’ve narrowed my genre selection down to seven: Superheroics, Arthurian, Fantasy, Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Retrofuturism, and Space Opera. Fittingly, I have novels or series planned in all of these genres, so it should be good fun (in addition to good practice!)
I’ll try and check in here at the halfway point to share a snippet or two and see how the words are flowing mid-November!