I am in the throes of a conundrum. It involves this year’s NaNoWriMo. I am starting to think about VERY early because I promised myself that I wouldn’t repeat the complete and utter failure of NaNoWriMo 2010.
It will. not. happen.
So, this means that I will hit October prepared and eager for November 1st. I will have an outline to work with and copious notes. I will work on something “original” (my definition of original in this context is a work that is NOT a sequel of something I’ve already done, isn’t another attempt at a story I’ve never completed, and isn’t fanfic). This attempt doesn’t have to be something aimed at eventual publication (option A is definitely not, option B could be).
I’m having a LOT of trouble making a decision. I have a while yet, so it’s not like I’m hearing the Jeopardy theme or anything, but still, it bothers me enough that I find it’s worth posting about.
I know I don’t have a ton of readers, but for those who DO see this, I put up a poll. I’d love it if you participate, call your friends and get them to participate. I make no guarantees to follow the outcome, but it might sway me to one side or another.
Note: The full description of each option is after the cut.
(This option is the FUN option. If I write this, it can never go anywhere and I might simply post it somewhere on this site in all its first draft glory with perhaps a few december edits. The reason I say this is that it’s too ridiculous and derivative to ever be taken serious and I’m copying the plot notes verbatim from a link that Scalzi posted a while ago.)
This option is originally from this post.
“My story follows the adventurous life of Sir Reginald Garret Von White Castle, a 900 year old katana wielding swordfighter from Prussia who, despite his great age and staggering accomplishments chooses to associate with and speak exactly like a modern day high school kid. From the opening line “I always knew that, in teh end, I would be fucked by unicorns and glitter” to the mind blowing dénouement, Reginald leads you through a clandestine world of classic and completely new supernatural creatures who have all chosen to masquerade as high schoolers in a typical Midwest town with no defining features or characteristics. This is so a reader could easily imagine him- or herself there (VIOLET THUNDER will appeal to both genders, and anyone who is or ever has gone through a trying transition to adulthood).
VIOLET THUNDER begins when Reggie’s best friend Bob is kidnapped from the high school shower after third period gym. Bob is a figmentationist, a person who can make anything happen that he imagines, except that it is never useful or impactful, and generally only functions when it is convenient for me, the author, to have it do so. Obviously Reggie isn’t going to stand for this, so he sets upon a journey of discovery, where he confronts glowing magic vampires, a succubae sponsored lesbian biker gang, mean cheerleaders, the sexually repressed high school councilor who is also a troll, and many other things so shocking that you need to read them in context to avoid some sort of brain hemorrhage. In all instances Reggie starts with banter, but ends with a drawn katana and a decapitated foe. He is also a police detective.
Through twists and turns literally nobody has seen coming, Reggie ends up in a final confrontation atop an incongruous Midwest skyscraper facing down his ex-girlfriend who now rides a magic unicorn who poops glitter and controls zombies. I will not spoil the end for you, but suffice it to say that when they do it, it is totally hot. You will be amazed when you finally discover the totally hidden meaning of Reggie’s VIOLET THUNDER.”
I would basically make an outline from this, brainstorm it and write it in 50K or so, giggling like a maniac all the while.
This one is Urban Fantasy. I’ve never been on fire to write urban fantasy but I do love reading it. I’m a big fan of the Dresden books (thanks to Phnee for recommending them way back!) and I enjoy the Dante Valentine books from Lilith St-Crow (thanks to my wife). When “Writing Excuses” put out a podcast dedicated to brainstorming an Urban Fantasy story, I couldn’t help it; things started to percolate.
Here’s what I have so far.
The link to the Otherworld and the magical creatures is through urban malls. Fae creatures work and roam the stores and food court, some roam the city. Magic exists in the world but no one sees it or acknowledges it due to an ancient (hundreds of years old) massive illusion spell that keeps the people of this world from seeing things as they truly are. A sufficiently traumatic event, a strong mind or a spell misfire can shatter this illusion for an individual, which then allows them to see…but they become part of the spell and can’t successfully communicate what they see to someone still under the illusion.
The protagonist has had the illusion spell shattered due to a misfire by an incompetent fae while in the mall.
Ok, that’s all I have so far, but it’s promising and I intend to brainstorm the %*##@ out of this first chance I get. Terms will change and get defined. Originality will (hopefuly) get liberally slathered in there. The story kind of speaks to me. It’s not “fun” as in I’ll be giggling all the way to 50K kind of fun, but when I think about it something resonates. I don’t know. This story feels like it has legs for me. It feels like it has the right elements to draw out my best writing and it feels like it has the potential to come out of November as a decent first draft like “Revenant” did way back in 2006.