Someone in one of my FB groups asked that (cute, huh?), so I thought I would rip it off, err, borrow it for the title of this blog. No. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a non-profit organization, so any donations made are fully tax deductible.
NaNoWriMo is my new Pillsbury Bake-Off. For years I said that I was going to enter some of my delectable dishes in that contest. One year I finally said to myself, “Put up or shut up.” So, that year I entered 4 recipes. None were ever even acknowledged, let alone placing in the competition. I call them my Pillsbury Bake-Off Losers”--and I still make them.
Same thing with NaNoWriMo. I want to enter. I want to be a winner. But, I just never got around to it. So this year, “Put up or shut-up.”
The rules are pretty simple: you write 50K words during the month of November and upload at the end for a word count to verify. 50K? You’re a “winner”. Has to be done from scratch, but it’s on the honor system. You can plan in advance, write character sketches, and do research--just no composition of scenes or chapters.
That sounds pretty clear.
What shall I do? I have tickler files with dozens of story ideas. I kind of wanted to work on my Slippin’ into the Future book (daughter/father relationship complicated by dementia) or book two of my culinary mystery series (Prime Rib and Punishment) or even book two of my erotic romance “Sex Sells” series, but you can’t have written any of it--honor system--in advance, and I have.
So digging deeper into the tickler files I find three plots that really, really interest me. (Who am I kidding? There wouldn’t be a tickler file if it didn’t really, really interest me!) So help me pick one of these three! Vote below or with your comments. As a side note, I have never written a novel in any of these genres, so I am stretching myself that way, too.
1) My paranormal rom-com I call my Quick and the Dedd series. Isabella Quick owns a security agency: I.Q. Security, “Your intelligence is safe with us”. Isabella is hard-boiled divorcee, carries a gun, votes Republican, and is a founding member of the N.F.A. (National Firearms Association). Riley Dedd, a widowed hunk, was one of her investigators. He was a liberal on social issues, but tough on crime. That is, before he was killed by an unknown assailant. She had a thing for him, sexual tension between them, but it was never pursued. He’s been dead now for several years, but recently he has been appearing to her in her dreams. At least, she assumes she’s dreaming brought on by stress. When he finally convinces her he’s real, but a ghost, they set about getting his murderer caught and convicted. Working title: The Quick and the Dedd
2) Another paranormal takes a different tack. My tagline for this maybe-series/maybe-single title is, “Djinni are the new vampires.” 28 year-old Gwyneth Catrin (Welsh meaning for the two names: luck, happiness and pure) Warlow, who recently broke up with long-time boyfriend, receives a letter from a Welsh solicitor regarding an inheritance. She is the closest living relative to her great-uncle, Emrys (Welsh meaning: immortal). She arrives in Wales to claim the estate left to her. It is all hers to dispose of as she wishes with the exception that she is not to touch anything in the attic. Emrys was a world-traveler and collected many things. All in the attic is to be gathered up by a mover and burnt without an examination by Gwyneth . She of course does and uncovers an artifact that is home to a djinn, Abdul Wahid (Arabic meaning: Servant of the Unique One). Complicating things is Uncle Emrys who has tricked the djinn into giving him partial immortality, and trouble ensues when he shows up. Working title: I Dream of Djinni.
3) Number three is Sci-Fi medical thriller. I clipped news items from three disparate events that I combined into a story idea. There is a document that always makes the list of undecodable text--the Voynich Document contains unreadable text and illustrations of strange objects and flora. The second news item detailed a mystery sunken craft in the Baltic Sea. And the third was a description of a strange new illness (named Morgellons) which causes open sores, sprouts of strange fibers on the skin, and a feeling like bugs crawling on the skin. All three cool, huh? The story premise is that Dr. Nia Parker, a marine research microbiologist is recruited under the pretense of discovering a cure for Morgellens but in actuality it is a secret government group out to discover more about the alien roots of the disease. A cryptologist, Dr. Rhys Fenner, was similarly recruited under false pretenses. He is given pieces of the document, presumed to be an ancient accounting of the disease, to decipher. The two form an immediate disdain for the other since each their needs are at cross-purposes and each is told to share info in isolation. He thinks Nia is in over her head, and she thinks Rhys is a prima donna. When they discover the government agency may be a rogue group set to control the alien resources for their own purposes, the two form an unwilling bond to fight the group. Unnamed as yet.
Recap: 30 days; 11, 669 words per week; 50,000 total words. Now if I subtract the time I’m at my brother’s wedding in Iowa and add those days’ word goals to other days, I can still do this. On average, 1667 words per day or less than 7 pages. Pshaw! Nothing to it! Find out more, and sign-up yourself, at www.nanowrimo.org