Saturday, July 23, 2011

Preparing for NaNo 2011

Every year I tell myself I'm going to do a better job preparing for NaNoWriMo. So far I've been able to do that, but each year I feel I should have done a better job. It is now the end of July and I've already started that agonizing search for this year's story.

I started with a short-short story called Panacea about the accidental creation of a mutagenic plague. (I wrote the whole thing with my thumbs on my iPod as a lark. :) It was intended to be a bit of back story for a far future post-post-apocalyptic story involving mutants, primitive tribal culture and lost technology. (Were not talking X-men mutants here, but more like Beneath the Planet of the Apes type mutants.) Unfortunately I don't have a handle on the main character, so that story really needs to sit and gel awhile longer.

I also wrote a potential first chapter for a YA zombie apocalypse told from the POV of a 15 year old girl who has to travel through a zombie infested metropolis to get her family back together. I think it has a lot of potential and the dramatic irony of the first chapter was a lot of fun yet, somehow--despite living with a 15 year old girl, the voice wasn't quite right. I may have to backburner that one as well.

I have lots of other stories rattling around in the back of my head (not all of which are apocalyptic) including a lovecraftian horror romance story I was toying with last year. I may even violate one of the basic rules for writers and write a sequel to an unpublished story.

I never really finished A Kingdom of Stone. I mean, I did--and it's a pretty solid ending, but there was a whole second part to that story that would have been included if I hadn't hit the 134k word mark. In Arthurian terms, part one deals with the rise of Merlin while part two deals with the rise of Arthur.

(No, this is not an Arthurian tale! I'm actually somewhat tired of those. I'm using Arthur as a metaphor here so I don't have to explain the actual story--though I will be borrowing from the Fisher King and other parts of the Mabinogion so there will be a resonance there. :)

The ending for part two is pretty well mapped out, but the rest of it is largely up in the air. That's because it's really the ending of the first book that's just been chopped off. That means I've got to craft a new beginning for part two and finish working out the middle bits. We'll see how close I come before October and the pre-nano panic kicks in.