Well, it looks like I’m actually going to do it this year. Previously, I’ve dismissed it as a gimmick, part of me appalled by the thought of so many others cranking out word-count like the proverbial infinite battery of typing monkeys. After all, I wrote books all the time, not just for a month, and not because everyone else was. I’ve never liked moving with the crowd.
But of course, for many of those Novembers I wasn’t actively writing a book, and in fact I haven’t created any serious chunks of would-be novels since September last year. I have been working, of course, since I finished the manuscript of WIP2, but most of that has been editing WIP1, and not in a very regimented way, either. I have, in fact, been dedicated to reducing word-count in that time – many thousands of words have been expunged, to my great satisfaction. Still, switching to forward gear again may be a bit a bit of a struggle.
I’ve been trying to ease myself in, rewriting the long-dormant opening chapters of the story I have finally decided to write. I did a bit of this by hand on holiday, which can feel a lot more productive than it is (long hours but at low speed, many pages but in a small notebook), and most importantly I think I’ve set the tone and the direction. This is vital, since I write by the seat of my pants, as they say, and so while I have a vague idea where the plot will take them, I don’t have a scene-by-scene outline. I have heard outlines can really help in a situation, like NaNoWriMo, where you have a big word-count target to hit in a limited time, but there is nothing more blocking for me than the idea of writing a scene on spec (even my own spec).
The whole reason I ‘pants’ is that I love to discover the unfolding story as I write it, almost as if I’m reading it, and I’m very excited to ‘read’ this one. The premise is that two rival warrior/agents in a massive Arabian/Oriental-inspired empire have to put aside their differences to investigate a dangerous plot only they can hope to get to the bottom of – that is, if they can stay alive long enough. Which would be a lot easier if one of them were not sworn to kill the other…
The two most feared Swords in the Eternal Empire, caught in a mystery that will shake its very foundations, bound together by duty and honour, not by choice. They will need to discover the meaning of a riddle they both only know part of – let alone solve it – before the time runs out on their immortal ruler. Their quest will take them to the very reaches of the Empire and beyond, meeting friends and foes along the way. The Wolf’s faithful servant will journey every step with them, sharing their tale with us – but does she have hear own secrets?
Here’s hoping for a productive November!