As I write this, it is October 31, 2011. Happy Halloween, guys and girl of the Internet! But, of course, it being Halloween means more than just it being time to pull out the costumes, lace them up, grab the empty buckets for the… buckets of candy, and hit the streets! Lots of ghouls and ghasts out on the streets tonight, but that’s not really the scary part. The scary part? Tomorrow is November 1, the beginning of Nanowrimo.
Still with me? Great! Now, if you’ll remember the last couple of posts I did, first I went through how I came to know about and join Nanowrimo for the first time, and then I went over some of the less successful years I had with it. Today, though, I want to breeze through the last couple of years and talk about what I’ve got planned for Nanowrimo this year. Ready? Let’s go.
By this point in time, I was far enough out of the Nanowrimo rhythm that I sort of regarded the whole thing with the same vague sort of curiosity that I had looked at it with in the first place. I know, fast huh? But the way that we were progressing with our writing just left me feeling more than a bit disconnected with the concept of Nanowrimo. Every day, I’d lay out a plot line and we’d roleplay through it, sometimes with her leading the way, but more often with me guiding which way the story would flow. I would define how the magic worked, the backstory of roughly half the characters, and work through some of the tougher issues facing the characters, working to solve them in new and innovative ways that would make for interesting reading. The process took up a great deal of my creative energies (fortunately, at the time, I was working at the slowest call center in the United States. Plenty of time for naps in between calls), but I was managing it alright.
My wife (because she had become my wife by this point. Silly me, I know, remembering to give her the ring) asked me if I was going to be going through Nanowrimo again. I waffled back and forth, bemoaning the fact that I really didn’t know if I had the time/energy to do that if we were going to keep on with progressing the plot line that we were working on at the time (which I thought was pretty cool. By the time we got done with it, we had actually blown up one of the major regions used in the series. BOOM. All gone.). Fortunately, my wife being my wife, she didn’t let it rest at that.
Eventually, like all good married couples, we settled on a compromise. I wouldn’t go through the full Nano process, but I would work on something. We eventually settled on a topic that was interesting to both of us, the first part of the fourth cycle. Neither of us had even ventured to make so much as a cursory first draft of it, in spite of the fact that it’s the beginning part of probablyour favorite cycle in the entire book series. So, that’s what I did. I didn’t hit the 50k Nano goal, but I wasn’t trying to, either. Instead, I worked fairly diligently and produced a nice amount of work that we can build on later.
By now, we had made it to Korea and when we weren’t working, we were writing. Again, my lines were in full swing. I was working from 9am to 10pm most days, so I really didn’t feel up to it this year. Besides, I said, I really want to work on the plot that we’ve got going right now. I want to get through to this part, since I think it’s going to be really cool! Alright, my wife said, you’re excused. But you’ve got to help me with mine.
I blinked. That was a little too easy. What do you need my help with, I asked. Simple, she responded. There were some parts of the book that she was doing the first draft of that she simply didn’t understand and was going to have trouble conveying. Therefore, I was either going to have to write those parts directly, or spell it out clearly enough that she understood it well enough to tell the tale. So, that’s what I did – whenver she had a question, I would explain it in exhaustive detail, making sure to prep a ton of notes on character development, dialogue, interactions, magic, plot progression, etc. for her to review when she went in to actually write a first draft. It worked out fairly well, but we did have a conversation about the middle part of the cycle, which is what brings us to this year.
It is my pleasure to announce that I will be working on the second book of the second cycle, titled Overworld, for Nanowrimo 2011. What’s gotten into me, that I would volunteer for Nanowrimo when I haven’t done a proper one in four years (and haven’t won one since my first Nano in 2006)? It has to do with the way Overworld is set up. As the middle novel of the cycle, it carries on the themes and plots of the first book while at the same time developing its own, while at the same time, setting up for the final part of the cycle. That’s a lot, but that’s not all that Overworld has to do. Given how long and developed the Athele Series is, every cycle has its own specific goal in preparing the audience for the massive world that the series has to offer. And even more so than the first book of that cycle, The Locked Worlds, or the last book, Illumine, Overworld has a lot of mythology to go over. And fight scenes (my wife hates those). And about 90% of the characters involved are mine, which is probably the most out of ratio we have gotten throughout the entire series.
So, yeah. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of work, but I’m feeling pretty hopeful about it all. My Nanowrimo profile is up, so be sure to check it out to keep track of my progress. Let’s hope the Internet doesn’t eat me.
With that said, how are you feeling about Nanowrimo, since it’s only a day away? Jazzed? Ready? Scared?