If it’s November, it must be National Novel Writing Month.
This year, I’m subverting the process. Anyone who knows me is nodding and saying “Of course you are.”
The official rules state that participants must write 50,000 words on a new project to cross the finish line. Several years in a row, I did just that. Last year I crashed and burned because I was Contest Director for PPWC, and the Contest entry deadline was Nov. 15th. My life was not my own after that. Neither was my brain.
This year, my goal is still 50,000 words. But it’s not on a new project. It’s finishing up all those other NaNo projects, or at least some of them. It’s about plotting and expanding and finishing. I won’t count any editing toward my daily word goal, only new writing.
I think this means I’ll have days of rereading and revision with very low word counts, followed by inspired days of productivity and high word counts. I hope I don’t pick up a half-finished manuscript and think “Where the hell was I going with this?”
There are three projects in line right now. That doesn’t mean I’m not insane enough to add a fourth, in case I have insomnia or decide to give up sleeping until the first week of December.
Hot Flashes From Hell, urban fantasy. Shelby is divorced, unemployed and rattling around the proverbial empty nest with too much time on her hands. In the middle of a massive hot flash, a portal to hell opens in her dishwasher and swallows the repairman. After more hot flash-induced windows to hell appear, Shelby’s parents finally confess that her biological father is a demon. After coming to grips with this stunning news, Shelby chooses to ignore the new branch on her family tree. Unfortunately, those portals really are sucking people into hell, and the clock is ticking if Shelby wants to get them out.
Exit Clause, science fiction. An intergalactic assassin is trying to complete one last job before retiring from the business. She doesn’t realize the largest bounty ever offered has just been put on the market, and she’s the target. Trapped on the planet Vegas, with only an AWOL Earth Marine on her side, she has to figure out how to terminate the contract before one of her competitors terminates her.
Schrodinger’s Girlfriend: fiction (hard for me to define the genre). A woman wakes up from a car accident in a new life. Her husband, children and business are gone. Instead, she’s still with a boyfriend from 25 years ago, living a life she can barely recognize as one she could have chosen. Her partner insists she needs therapy when the life he thinks she dreamed is more clear to her than the one she’s living with him. A chance remark from her cranky and possibly demented mother leads her to believe she is not, in fact, where she’s supposed to be. How can she shed this life and get back to her husband and children where she belongs?
All of these have strong elements of humor (less in the last one, but still there), because it’s impossible for me to write with a straight face. That, and my writing sucks when I don’t let myself poke fun at something. Sucky and serious or less sucky and humorous? Not a tough choice.
Wish me luck. And stay tuned, since I’m bound to blog when one more word of fiction will push me over the edge.