The Hell of Planning NaNo

Besides the jet lag, the cold, the cup of coffee with friends and the preparation of my next trip, something has been getting in the way of my blog post about the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (which I will write): planning for this year’s National Novel Writing Month. With November closing in fast, I need to figure out what the hell I’m going to write 50k words about (I’m not targeting 100k this year because of final papers to grade and 9 days of beach to enjoy.)

Now if the problem was that I had no idea, life would be awesome!

But read my blog’s logline again. Yeah. So many stories, so little time…

Want to know what’s on the list of possible NaNoMaterial? Let’s go in order of number of words already written (aka from stories I ought to finish to stories I should try to forget).

Last year’s main NaNo is… how to put it… Tolkien’s take of Judge Dredd directed by Clint Eastwood with a lead actress that splits her consciousness between an elf body and a white tiger’s.
You may take a moment to wrap your head around that. I know I need it!
I had lots of fun writing that last year and as I read through the manuscript, I find myself missing these characters. But though the story isn’t quite finished, what it really needs is some major edits at the beginning and then, an ending.
So I can’t quite NaNo this.

You’re probably familiar with Strings of Retaliation. Yes, I could NaNo it. But I like to use NaNo as the occasion to write that story I would never find the time to write otherwise. And, whatever happens, I’ll find the time to finish Strings.

Last year’s secondary NaNo (which came to me during the almost allnighter with the group) is a scifi story about “Oracle Warriors” (working title), a race of fighters each born to fight (and die for) one specific war. The MC tried to help the people she was born to defend but they didn’t like it and threw her in prison. The story begins a century later when the people are deep in shit.
Imagine my MC’s mood for a second.
She’s a blast to write! But I can’t quite see where this story is going so I can’t really outline it. Maybe I’m not ready to go back to it.
Yet.

I wrote a few pages of a story that starts with “All I wanted was a cup of coffee.” and relates the tribulations of a character addicted to body jumping (he goes to AA meetings to try and rid himself of the addiction) and gets in trouble because of that.
Not sure what kind of trouble.

Then there’s this new character that popped into my brains at SIWC. I don’t know much about him but he introduced himself as a professional patsy. Apparently, he has a birth defect that makes him forgettable. So he’s making a career out of taking the blame for crimes he didn’t commit and then splipping out of prison, unnoticed, after the trial is over.
Only one person remembers him: his agent.
I haven’t worked out how that one works. I have to dig a bit deeper in the mythos/magic behind this whole thing. It’ll be a thriller. Somehow.

Then, there’s this erotica concept floating somewhere in the back of my mind. The Incubus, the witch and the closet. Wait. That sounded wrong…
Right now, it’s just gathering dirt/filth/smut in the corner, which is just what an erotic story needs. Do I want to disturb it?

So… any of you guys have a favorite? Or a useful advice on how I could go about picking one?

And if one more person tells me to mix them all into one story, I’m going to hang myself and then haunt you!

Oh crap. I think there’s a story in there too. *facepalm*

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

2 responses to “The Hell of Planning NaNo

  • Anna

    I’d sit down with pen and paper and write down plot possibilities for each choice. Whichever one generates the most ideas is the one I’d go with.

    • Aheïla

      Yeah. That’s kinda what I planned. But then I got more ideas and it blew completely out of proportion. Damned by my brain!

      But I think I’ll go with the professional patsy. He’s screaming the loudest. So delightfully pathetic, he’s got all my writerly/motherly instinct tingling. Which tells me that he’ll suffer hell.

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