Last November, I participated in the 2012 National Novel Write Month (or NaNoWriMo, for short), and in 30 days I completed the first 50,000-word draft of a fantasy novel. I did no pre-writing; I simply sat at the keys when I had a chance and wrote whatever I desired following a central protagonist within a fantasy context. The results were a mixed bag, as I addressed in my review of the draft two months following its completion. This year, my ability to participate will be significantly reduced, but I still want to do it. November may just be a more intensive month than any other in 2013.
I believe, however, that following the same model as the prior year, writing without an outline or structure, is going to yield disappointing results once again; and for that reason, I plan to do three months of extensive pre-writing before the November 1st start date. The rules of the contest allow for any preparation so long as no actual text from the first draft is put to paper/screen prior to the month. Thus, I can do all the outlining, treatments, and character bios/analyses in the present, prepping for the starting gun to fire the day after Halloween.
The trouble is, I am not sure what book I want to write next. I have completed my wholly personal spiritual warfare novel, Stronghold; and I am still revising my young adult novel, To Retreat from Romance (with a hopeful release in 2015). Last year’s NaNoWriMo will likely be scrapped for parts down the line, with characters, situations, and locations being lifted and placed into other, better stories (or, who knows, I may try to salvage a nugget of it. I like the main concept quite a bit, but execution is everything).
So the question now is, “what do I want my third novel to be?” Well, I have a good start for a sci-fi, another for a drama, and a third for a comedy. All would test my capacities in a new genre, and each would fulfill a personal interest. One would be decidedly and clearly Christian, while the other two would not. In the end, any of them would prove to be a new challenge that would broaden my toolkit and prove worthwhile. So, I am going to make the decision by month’s end and dedicate September and October to honing the story in prep for a dash come November.
I’ll keep you posted as I get closer. Any thoughts on what you’d like to see me try next?