The first day of November has always been a world of extremes for me regarding writing, thanks to National Novel Writing Month, lovingly referred to as NaNoWriMo. I’ve been participating since 2003, with a solid 50/50 wins under my belt. I haven’t written about Nanowrimo much here lately, so for my 20th Nanowrimo, it was time.
Why do I do this? In part, to prove to myself that I can, but from another viewpoint, I tend to use Nano as my way of testing out my collection of random story ideas as a bit of a litmus test. If I can take a sentence or two that I’ve written down in a digital or analog journal and churn out 50,000 in 30 days, it seems to have legs to finish it.
Also, I love playing in new genres during Nano just to see if they interest me as a writer and not just as a reader.
Last year was my first real foray into Epic/Multi-POV Fantasy, and I adored it enough that I’m doing it again this year. Mind you, if you head over to my Goodreads profile I read a lot of it, but I don’t write it. I’ve never felt that I could write in this genre for a multitude of reasons, but I’m happy to say that I really, truly love writing it as much as I love reading it.
So what’s your process?
If you haven’t gotten the theme yet, I adore playing around during Nanowrimo with all kinds of things – ideas, genres, and processes. I’ve used just about every kind of published process out there during PrepTober (October prep for November’s writing).
This year I’m going back to the Beat Sheet I used last year, Take off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker. For someone who has been a self-described Plantster (mix of plotter and pantser) for most of my writing life, I tend to lean a little harder on the pantser mentality than I do plotting out things, so this beat sheet for outlining has been so great for me.
The thing I’ve found with this method of outlining is that it focuses on my favorite part of writing, the characters. I think that’s why I’ve struggled before with some beat sheets and outlines where the plot is the driver, while my lovely little imaginary friends, my characters, will always be my primary focus when I’m writing things.
So what’s happening this year?
I’m being a little bit of a rebel this year because I’m taking last year’s Nano novel, and I’m just starting over. There were some fabulous pieces in there, but I think I flip-flopped on what was important to the story itself, so I’m going to start it over. Not only am I going to be rewriting the book, but I have already begun percolating on making this an actual trilogy.
Book 1 (and more than likely the series) is currently named “The Hand of Mashyana” and I’ve been playing around with a little bit of a blurb.
In the enchanted realm of Emari, loyalty and trust are everything, and Farah has been raised to honor the Mashyana above all else. As a servant of the queen, she’s unwavering in her devotion, until the day she’s tasked with a mission that will change everything.
Yasher, a wily traveler and card shark from a distant northern kingdom, possesses a powerful relic—the Eye of Rashnu—a relic of untold significance. Unaware of its true power, he is thrust into Emari’s dangerous political intrigue.
When Farah’s path crosses with Yasher’s, their worlds collide in a realm where secrets are woven into the very fabric of humanity’s existence when a dark ambition that threatens Emari and its gods emerges. Farah must confront her allegiance, trust in new allies, and confront the realities of power and betrayal.
As the battle for the relics escalates and the fate of the gods hangs in the balance, Farah and Yasher must work together to unveil the Eye of Rashnu’s true purpose. In a world where loyalty can be a weapon and trust the greatest treasure, they face not only the sinister secrets, unlikely allies and enemies, and try to save the gods that abandoned them centuries ago.
Mind you, this is all subject to change as I write this month, but I’m really feeling it so far.
Want to keep up with my writing this month in particular? Hit me up on my socials to follow along.
And if you’re participating in Nanowrimo this year, I’d love to be buddies!
Happy Nanowrimo to all who celebrate!