Hello ladies and gentleman. You’ll never guess where I am writing this post! No, it’s not my living room, or my bedroom, or even on my lunch break, I’m on a plane, how cool is that huh? I am super excited that my holiday has finally arrived and that I am heading to Orlando for 2 weeks of sun, fun, and all things Disney. First things first though, I have a small announcement to make. I’m not really sure it’s very secret considering it’s in the title of the post, but if you missed it: I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2018!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, NaNoWriMo (Or National Novel Writing Month) takes place every November. The aim for participants is to create a story and to try and write 50,000 words of it during the month, which gives a solid foundation for creating a novel. The NaNoWriMo website features a lot more details, and is where everyone can sign up, announce their novel ideas, look for help and assistance from others, and generally get their creative juices flowing.
I attempted NaNo a couple of years ago, and although I liked the idea I had, I didn’t start planning early enough, and if I am honest wasn’t nearly as good enough writer to pull off anything as elaborate as my mind wanted to create. It didn’t put me off though, no Sir, and so I am back again. I have been low key prepping for a couple of weeks now. I have created Pinterest boards that are helping me with the look and the characterisations of my major characters. I have scene ideas that are listed, some partially padded out that will allow me to write them and hopefully create a narrative that makes sense and is readable.
Let’s be honest here though, that’s hugely jumping the gun. I have barely written anything non-academic (blog posts aside). I have written next to nothing that could be described as creative writing, so this is a whole new world for me. I really love the idea of writing, I’ve always loved and demolished stories (in books, on film, TV series) but have never really felt the urge to create them. Then I began living with someone who has taken part before and has wonderful ideas. I began following aspiring authors on social media, and followed the progress of this who had already made it and began looking into the writing and creative process and though with hard work, that’s something I’d be interested in. So, here we are and here we’re taking part.
I’ve tried to be kind to myself this year and start small. I know that writing is as much about practice and doing it as it is anything else, so I have decided to embark on two wholly different story ideas in the hope of fleshing out my writing skills, and understand taking the inkling of an idea into a story that makes sense. My two ideas are completely different genres, a fact which I am hoping will help me think outside the box, to learn new world and character building, and encourage the flow of conversation on page rather than in my head. Neither of my story ideas have titles yet, but they have creative visions and are starting to come together to make a little bit more sense:
I adore stories about Pirates and adventures (my favourite film is literally Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) so I think it makes sense that I would look to create a story and world that I enjoy experiencing. The thoughts behind this are still in their (very) early stages, but I have established my main players, both protagonists and antagonists, and I have ideas about what drives them and makes them tick. There is definitely familial rivalry brewing, and hopefully lots of action, treasure hunting, and good ol’ pirate adventure.
Sounds great, right? Well, it’s much harder work. I don’t want to set this in the now, because I have no interest in setting this with technology as we know it today. I like the pirate feel of books set in ‘our world’ around the 16th/17th century, or pirate stories set in worlds that mirror this time frame but it’s hard to work out the logistics of this when it’s the first world or historical story you’ve embarked on. I don’t know yet whether I want their to be a fantastical element to my story. I think I do, less pure magic and fantasy, and more myth/supernatural, but I can’t decide what it would be, how it would work, and how it would naturally fit into a world that I haven’t fully created yet.
As you can tell there are a lot hurdles with this project, some which I haven’t even discovered yet, and none that I have managed to overcome yet. At the end of this month, this is the story I’d love to say I came into this to write, even if the idea came much later in Preptober than the second story idea. I’m worried it will be too hard work and put me off completely, but I also think that with the right commitment, this is the story that I would really like to create and tell.
This “Dream” story is entitled this thus far because it quite literally came to me in a dream. No, not like Harry Potter came to J K Rowling on a train kind of dream, but I dreamt a reoccurring dream and thought it would be a good place to start writing because it didn’t require as much creative juice to get it up and running. It’s part fan fiction part contemporary, and as much as I will support fan fiction I’m trying to make it more the latter, simply for my own mind. It’s surrounds an agency representing actors, and the relationships between the staff, at the actors, and how little moments can changes lives.
That makes it sound much more dramatic than it actually is, but, it’s a work in progress and just saying that (aloud or on a blog post) is bloody exciting. This is the idea that is definitely going to be easier to write. It’s set now, in this world, so requires less creativity to begin with, and is loosely based on a livelihood that already exists. I’m definitely invested in this story, I have quite literally dreamt multiple scenes of this story which makes it easier to plot. I’ve loosely written those scenes down so that I have anchors around which I plan to plot and create and hopefully end up with a fully fledged contemporary story of sort. As much as I am invested though, I have a feeling that it will be used to actually write and get past creative blocks that the “Pirates” idea will undoubtedly throw at me. It’s definitely equal in importance to the writing process, this will allow me to learn to write and understand dialogue, and build relationships even if their is no world to weave on top.
So there you have it. It’s going to be a little hard to keep on track when I start the month on holiday, but I think I have enough of a foundation in place this time round that I could make some serious progress. (It would be really nice to knock something off the bucket list/30 before 30 list too!)
Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo 2018 too?
I’d love to hear some of you ideas, thoughts, hints and tips!