It’s Nearly That Time of Year…NaNoWriMo!

Hey guys!  I wanted to give you a little update here.

I think I’m going to do NaNoWriMo this year.

Am I insane?  Probably.  I tried this twice in college, once with a story that I actually had to turn in for a class (so it wasn’t *technically* NaNo, but still) and another a few months (that was *actually* NaNo).  The first one I finished simply because I had to, but I remember the extreme stress I was under that month, trying to finish the story in time to meet my deadline.  I was a bit more chill the second time, when it was for NaNo, but I also didn’t finish.  I fell off shortly before Thanksgiving.

But here was part of the reason I fell off (besides the time issue): I didn’t really do any prep.  I mean, sure, I had character names figured out and I had somewhat outlined my story, but I tend to be a bit of a “pantzer”, writing by the seat of my pants.  I like discovering the story as I go, but that also means that it goes off track pretty quickly too.  And I don’t really want to do that.

So this year, I’m doing my prep work.  I found some articles online with character development questions so that I can get to know my characters a little better.  And that has been really helpful.  I have a basic story outline, but I should probably flesh that out a little more before Tuesday, but I’ll get there.

I’m interested to see how this goes.  I really like my story idea (which I’ll share below) and I’ve finally (I think) settled on names that I like and character personalities.  I want to see how exactly these two get along because I think there’s going to be an interesting clash of personalities.  They’re both so different, but they have key similarities and I think that’ll bring out some really cool scenes.

This does probably mean that my reading time is going to be cut down even more than it already is.  So reviews could be even more rare, but I’m hoping to give you NaNo updates and encouragement, for those of you doing NaNo.  Maybe that’s a good trade-off?

So about my story.

I started toying around with this idea last year when I read a story about colonial America and how those Americans interacted with the Native Americans/reading the later books in the Outlander series/the Pocahontas song “Savages”.  (There were a lot of influences.)

This is a story told in alternating perspectives (I tend to have an easier time writing those) between a girl in a peaceful tribe and a boy in a warrior tribe (think Spartans).  [Ancient Greece may also be an influence.]  When the warrior tribe invades the peaceful tribe seeking retribution for a past wrong, the boy is confronted with uncomfortable realities of war and the girl is tossed into a culture completely foreign to her own.  Together, they question what they thought they knew and the identities they thought they had.

I’m not sold on whether I want this to be a romance or not.  Right now, I don’t see it being one, but we’ll see, I guess.  Maybe they’ll have better chemistry than I think they will.  I just really like this idea of throwing someone into a foreign culture, like pulling the rug out from underneath them and dealing with the prejudices that come on both sides of that.

I’m just a little worried because I don’t really know a lot of specifics about Native American culture (though I have tried to learn), so I fear I’ll spend a lot of time worrying about that.  I tend to be an “edit as I go” person, so 30-40 pages in I start worrying about things that don’t quite make sense anymore instead of writing new material.  Hopefully I can curb that this time around.

Anyone else doing NaNo?  What are your projects?  I’m all about supporting each other so feel free to fill me in!  Good luck!  🙂

~Holly

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7 thoughts on “It’s Nearly That Time of Year…NaNoWriMo!

  1. I’ve attempted NaNo for the last four years and have yet to actually…yknow…finish anything. In all my years of writing, I’ve only finished one proper first draft, (or 2, if you count my first ever story…which I don’t because it was too short and too shitty :/) This year I’m using NaNo to finish a story I’m 11k into. I know, but I’d rather do this than start something new and not finish again. Sigh. My story is about magic and the battle of good and evil. I’m also a pantser (god I hate that term. >_<) but I actually have bullet pointed my 'outline' as it were. Last time I outlined indepth, by the time I got around to writing the actual story, I was bored. lol. I'm hoping this time I'll be better at it 😀
    Good luck with your story! It sounds intriguing. xx

    • No, I totally get it! I have a story I’m 25K into that I just never get finished. I’ve thought about working on that one instead, since November is almost always a busy month, but I also kind of want to see how it goes working on this one.

  2. Hi Holly, This will be my fifth year doing NaNo. I didn’t make it the first year, but I really believe it was because I was doing it on my own. After that, I joined up with some fellow writers and we had online support groups to encourage each other. That has helped so much. Last year, I really struggled because I was attempting a novel that required a lot of research. I ended up switching novels to something that was less research-intense and then I was able to reach 50 k words. This year I’m working on a new YA contemporary set on the Outer Banks. It has a magical realism element similar to Charlie St. Cloud. I’ve been doing prep this past week and I’m super excited about getting started. Good luck with your story and with NaNo:) It sounds great!

    • Haha, I know the feeling! I keep a writer’s notebook whenever I get a new story idea, so it’s full of probably close to 20 stories that I had to sift through before I settled on this one. It wasn’t easy!

  3. I’m hoping to write the final book of my Daughters of Lilith series this NaNoWriMo! (I wrote Incubus during the 2012 NaNoWriMo…) Outlined and ready to go! Good luck to you, Holly!

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