it's almost time! NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a novel in the month of November. last year's nano is what got me started writing for real. it was a fantastic, mind-opening experience.
the novel i completed last year has been going through various betas, revisions, edits, stompings-on, etc. for about 6 months. i'm starting to accept the fact that it might be a trunk novel, or at the best, something i will revisit and re-plot/re-write in a few years when i'm better at this stuff. but the experience was invaluable, so naturally i'm doing it again.
now to me, nano is definitely about challenging oneself, in some way or another. just finishing 50K is a big enough challenge, but this year i've managed to take it even further. sigh.
my writing buddy and i agreed to do a plot-swap; we came up with very basic ideas for each other, a main character with a goal and a general sense of what their major obstacle will be. i was totally into the idea because I tend to get emotionally attached too characters too easily, so that i'm afraid to properly torture them ;) he also fully admitted to me that he wanted to force me to write outside of my comfort zone.
i admit i wasn't inspired by his ideas at first (he gave me a choice, which was part of the problem. i'm terrible at decision-making.) but i persevered and finally something clicked. i've been brainstorming most of last night and today, and i've come up with something i'm really really thrilled with. i can already see a bunch of different ways it can go, sub-plots i can expand upon, major crises for my MC that i can just keep piling up until she begs for mercy.
and apparently it's going to be some sort of cyberpunk/speculative fiction deal. umm, okay? i have never written anything remotely fantasy/sci-fi before. (save about 9K words of weird fantasy drivel that was probably more romance than anything, just with magic and shit.)
but the idea hit, and it won't let go. it's got mind-controlling brain implants and government conspiracies, neuro-hackers, etc. the main character is a teenager, so i'm probably also going to work in some standard edgy YA themes (drugs, disobedience of parents, runaways, etc.)
(i'm going to add here that i'm incapable of synopsising anything to save my life. i go off on tangents and ramble and completely lose the thread of what i was talking about... i know, shocking, isn't it. but once i get a hold on the meat of this thing, i'll post my synopsis here, or link to my nano profile, or something)
on the one hand, i'm totally freaked out because i haven't read much in this genre (or at all) and they (they who? i dunno) always say you should read in the genre you're writing. but then, this is nano, i'm not looking to send it out to publishers on dec. 1st or anything. it's an exercise more than anything.
now because i haven't read anything, not even the major names (i'm totally kicking myself for not picking up my dad's copy of Neuromancer that sat on his bookshelf for my entire life) there's also the possibility that i'll write something totally derivative and unoriginal, without even trying to.
i've been googling 'brain implants' and such (whoo, there's a lot more out there than i thought) and it seems a lot of my ideas aren't unique at all. they also might not be really all that unrealistic. but the underlying premise of the story relies on the fact that the majority of this society has willingly implanted themselves (or their children) with these devices. i'm not sure how i'm going to wangle that.
i am going to need to constantly remind myself that i can write anything i want, and if it's crap, then that's okay, because nano is really really good for writing crap.