Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Detours Along the NaNoWriMo Freeway

Every November for the past several years, I embrace the novel-writing marathon known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal? Write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I like to joke I start October 1 with the knowledge I have 31 days to plot my story and work on character development. October 15 rolls around and I insist I can plot this puppy in 16 days. Then it's October 31, 11:59p.m. I have probably one character and a vague idea of plot.

Every year. Like clockwork.

This year, I wanted to write a phantasmagorical type of story, about a father and daughter who run a very special exhibit at sci-fi/fantasy cons.Part of it is inspired by my own con experiences and my love of animation.

Then my editor and I were discussing my on-again, off-again, mostly off-again, Angels of Death series. The second book, Serpent Fire, was giving me fits. I struggled with the revisions. The plot seemed contrived and, while there were aspects I liked, it obviously needed an injection of something. What, I didn't know. Ironically, the third book, The Devil Inside, was coming along better.

My editor suggested perhaps writing Serpent Fire as a stand-alone. I thought about it and realized Devil Inside could easily work as the second book. Serpent Fire received a lethal injection to make room for a new story, and one I'm having fun with, when I have time to work on it.

In this new version, Uriel, a demon-hunter, accidentally shoots and kills a demon who had permission to leave Tartarus. As part of his punishment, he's forced to serve under Sargatanas, a demon Brigadier-General, whose tough, by-the-book rules irritates the more independent mercenary angel. Sargatanas considers Uriel to be a proverbial pain and a detriment to the company, despite his exemplary sniper skills.

I'd never written such a story, with opposite characters playing off of each other. I thought it would be fun to make the demons strict and the archangel rebellious.

Unfortunately, I lost the plot sheet I'd devised for the story, which is holding me up. And having had to work on a story galley, plus reading for a contest, has curtailed my writing time for NaNo. I've come to the realization I probably won't "win" this year, but as long as I get words down, that's what matters.

As for my phantasmagorical story, well, I've debated writing it as a serial or perhaps writing it as a series of self-published novellas. I think four stories might work, depending on my research. I also have an idea to release four novellas based around the Memitim. But so far, these are only ideas.

Anyone else doing NaNo?

For more information: http://www.nanowrimo.org

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