In the background of my head, Europe’s famous riffs loudly declare “It’s the final countdown!” And my countdown is now practically three days — three days and the madness of National Novel Writing Month descends upon me. I’m not ready for this! Frantically, I look at my outline: It only stretches from Chapter One to Chapter Fourteen — then there is only blankness. Also looming over my head is the incomplete final read-through, where I’m in Chapter Six of Eighteen. WHY IS THERE ALL OF THIS FINAL-NESS IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?! And where the heck did October go?! Ah, yes. Work invaded my personal time and held it hostage. But no matter, it is times like this that test one’s mettle — or some other platitude that people like to throw out.
So what is my pre-November game plan (all three days of it)? I speculate that I will be reading/editing like a mad woman with that ol’ crazy-eyed stare while just winging everything else. However, here is what I do know:
NANOWRIMO THIS YEAR
I’m working on the sequel to “Heritage Lost,” the book I’m completing a final read-through on. Tentatively, I’m calling it “Way Home.” Will that title stick around for the entire writing and editing process? No idea. However, for now, it works. This sequel will pick up almost directly after the events in “Heritage” — I do believe there might be a six month gap, if that. It is also the book that serves as the crucible of the series — or where the “shit really hits the fan” as I’m prone to say. It will be a difficult one going forward as it explores several weighty ideas: radicalization, guilt, the price of war, the fear of uncovering the past, and more. My characters definitely have some tough decisions coming; however, I’m welcoming the challenge.
And while, I only have the outline up to Chapter Fourteen, I’m not too concerned since 50,000 words only gets me to about the halfway marker of a book. So the odds are in my favor that my unfinished plans won’t bite me in the butt. Besides, I prefer having a bit of fluidity toward the end of a novel to be able to adjust once I get into it. Characters after all send little revisions to the outline as the story progresses.
Additionally, I’m intent on posting a weekly NaNoWriMo progress report, right here. It’s perfect for accountability and to share the NaNoWriMo experience; and trust me, it is quite the experience! If you haven’t done in before (I’ve already suckered two newbies into it this year!), check it out and give it a whirl. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Are you also participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Drop me a line here on my blog, on Twitter (@smwright04), or on the NaNoWriMo website (My handle is Pans-Pen, not to be confused with Peter Pan … it’s a common and understandable misunderstanding!). I’d love to connect and have evening word sprints with fellow NaNoWriMo-ers — plus enjoy the support system that is NaNoWriMo.