About this time of year (actually, I think it gets earlier each year) my thoughts turn to NaNoWriMo.
This is my 5th taking part in this annual November novel writing challenge. In 2007 and 2008 I worked on a fantasy novel and failed both years to make the 50,000 word target in 30 days. In 2009 and 2010 I wrote the first and second parts of my WW1 novel – When the Guns Stop – succeeding in writing over 50,000 words both years.
Nanowrimo is the highlight of my year. It’s more exciting than Christmas and I certainly look forward to it more than my birthday which falls in the same month. Rather funny, if you consider that it consists of locking yourself away for 30 days sweating over a badly written novel.
Last year I started channelling my main characters. I began craving whiskey. I missed the First World War when it was over. Sure, there were some truly terrible times, but there was something about it that made you feel alive.
As When the Guns Stop is in revision stage, I need a new project for this year. I was going to write a completely new sci-fi but I’ve decided it makes more sense to write the second half of the novel I started in 2007/8. It’s not actually that bad (I’d say the first draft is better than the first draft of WTGS, because I’m much more comfortable writing fantasy than historical fiction) so I’d really like to see the whole first draft completed. I also want to concentrate on getting the second draft of WTGS finished, so this makes more sense than taking a lot of time to plan and research something completely new. It’s a good compromise.
So you’ll see me talking more about this fantasy novel over the next few months. Its working title is City of Djinn and it’s a fairly typical high fantasy – i.e. warriors, magic etc.. I don’t generally include magic in my fantasy stories, so it was a bit of a departure for me but it’s a fairly ripping yarn and I was able to develop a magic system that had psuedo-scientific elements, so that satisfied me.