So, November is NaNoWriMo, though no-one has ever explained exactly what nation the “na” actually stands for. I’m going to play along though — and my Patreons will be able to watch me do it in public.
I’m currently nearly finished writing a “technocozy” called “The Basilisk Murders”, but I want to put it away for a while before doing a redraft — hopefully it’ll be out by early next year.
So I’m going to try doing a novel from scratch in a month, like you’re meant to. I had a good idea for a novel a couple of years ago, and wrote the first five chapters and posted them to Patreon, but I got too bogged down in it. The idea — a pulpy thriller about Dennis Wheatley, Ian Fleming, and Alan Turing teaming up to battle Nazi Satanists in World War II — was a good one. But my own sensibilities are simply too far from pulp, and I was trying to make it a good book by my own standards. In particular, I was trying to write it with some good central female characters.
But in doing that, I was fighting all the time with the form the idea needed to take. So this month I’m going the other way, making it as pulpy and cliched as the idea needs to be — all two-fisted masculine adventure. If I end up with anything publishable at the end, I’ll probably use a pseudonym so people don’t get confused by its total dissimilarity to other stuff I’ve written.
I’m planning to write it in a different way from my normal approach, too — one of the things I’m doing at the moment with my writing is exploring different techniques, particularly for beating writer’s block. So what I’m trying to do this time is have a complete narrative of sorts written at every stage.
I’m aiming for a word count of 2000 words per day (except for the two days of Thought Bubble, when I’ll be doing other stuff). What I’ve done today is write forty fifty-word chapter summaries, laying out the entire basic plot from beginning to end. My plan is each day to add fifty words to each of those chapters, and to try to do different things each day — perhaps one day to add in sensory descriptions, another to add in extra dialogue, and so on. The idea is, in effect, to redraft the novel every day, from beginning to end, at 2000 words longer every day. At the end of the month it would have had twenty-eight “drafts”, but each one should be readable as a narrative.
If you want to follow along, I’m posting every day’s draft to Patreon, as a locked post for patrons only (though these posts will be free — patrons will only be paying for the normal posts, which will continue). You can also add me on nanowrimo if you just want to see if I’m making the numbers.
If I get anything readable out of this, I’ll let you all know…