It’s Samhuinn, or Halloween to you non-Celtic types. I’ll be celebrating by (weather permitting) going to watch a pagan procession in town, returning at the witching hour and starting NaNoWriMo for a third time.
So, you might ask, what am I writing this year?
I have absolutely no idea.
Well, I have some ideas kicking around in Scrivener: some 16th century Scottish history, local geoglyphs and something timey-wimey. Whether any of that makes it into the story is anyone’s guess. To put this into perspective, last year’s came together- and hit 50k words- via a series of unconnected accidents involving a book of Scottish myths, a Genesis album and repeated watching of The Breakfast Club.
Somehow, this transformed itself into an urban fantasy despite having very little outline, idea of a plot or, well, any control over the characters. They just kind of ran off and did things. Now, you might be a plotter rather than a pantser, and that’s fair enough. But if your characters do the same thing, and you have no plan, I say let them do what they want. They might even do interesting things that advance the plot. Cheeky scamps.
Now, you might think that having won NaNo once, whatever I wrote next would be much more tightly planned, but no. 10,000 words were accidentally written last December, I realised there were enough unanswered questions to write Another Thing, and by the time Camp NaNoWriMo rolled around this July, I’d already done about 40,000 words of it. And did the second novel make any sense when I stopped and read over it? Well, there was a bit of this somewhere:
And then shit all kicked off like woah guys everyone chill the hell out:
Before the South American equivalent of Barbara Windsor yelled GERROROVMAHPUB and the ill-fated Simon May hotel-lobby version of this kicked in:
Yes, it might need some editing. The first book’s taken nearly a year to polish, in between a house move, a job change and two conventions. But there’s something great about just writing freely for thirty days and not giving a damn about the consequences. No editing, no fretting, just coffee and judicious application of a thesaurus. (Dear Husband tells me that whatever happens to the second book when I get round to a proper edit, I have to keep ‘immense gilded ziggurat’ and ‘forsaken progenitor’. At the very least, they’d make good band names.)
I probably shouldn’t try planning it too much. Maybe the handful of characters and vague setting I’ve written down are enough. That’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo. Who knows what might actually come out the other end? WHO EVEN CARES.
Hmm, the more I think about it, the more I could play it safe and just write another Thing with the characters I’ve already created. But that would be cheating, no? And surely there’s nothing left for them all to do after that excitingly disjointed adventure from the summer?
Well sod it. At midnight, I’ll start up Scrivener and write lord knows what, but whatever you do have fun, stick with your fellow NaNo-ers for support and remember: it’ll work in the edit.