Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaNoWriMo Warmup


Imagine that you’re trying to write a novel – 1500-2000 words a day for a whole month. What would that be like? In the beginning, there’s the lack of a plot – or maybe just too many fractional plots. Fantasy pops into my head – like Crystal Singer or Wrinkle in Time. Or maybe an upscale romance like the Luanne Rice book I’m reading right now, or the Eileen Baker I just finished. I love historical fiction, but that seems like it would need too much research. I don’t have time for research in addition to one thousand words a day – I have a household to run and children to homeschool! I’ve been saying that there should be more romance novels (good for sex life) for married ladies. If it’s true that minivan drivers have sex only three times a month, and that romance novels improve sex life (according to Christiane Northrup), then that seems like a niche waiting to be filled. But what does that look like? If you don’t get the thrill of a new love, that makes the story much harder to write – it might even need actual skill! Yikes! Plots are what I don’t have. I can put one word after the other, I can write non-fiction, but fiction is elusive to me – I feel like it’s just out of sight of my peripheral vision, I can’t quite reach it. I have a scene written of a minivan with a mom and three kids crashing into water – my own fear. If I can include that, it’s a whole three hundred words. Woo hoo.

Alright, so it turns out I’ve already written about a thousand words – I opened my other file and found them. Of course, some of them are in the form of a list – not exactly fiction. But here’s the idea – a woman living my life (because I know that) and her daydreams of living an exciting life. She can live in a Jennifer Crusie novel, a Janet Evanovich novel, a Judith Tarr novel, a Diana Gabaldon novel. I can combine them all – how’s that for cheating! I’m not sure where the tension will be in the “real life” side, but, hey, this is all about word count, right? About people not actually throwing up when they read it? And about finding my inner fiction, because, god dammit, I’m sure it’s there. Hidden under layers of junk, but there somewhere. And, oh – I challenge myself to put in a sex scene.

Can you imagine? Delusions of grandeur already. A published novel! Ooh, that part is pretty good. Alright you – yes you, author lady! You have to actually have a plot to publish a novel! Some pretty words strung together is not enough! What a surprise. It takes actual work! So let’s say seven hundred words in the morning and seven hundred every evening. Now that the Red Sox have won the World Series, baseball season is over and there are three extra hours in every day. Of course, Christmas is also coming, but hey – two hours to write and one to plan for Christmas. If the words will flow, one hour to write might do it. Is that true? I’ll have to measure my speed some day – that will be good for a few more words.

I need to name my protagonist. Christine is a nice uptight name. But Aria is prettier. Gives her something to live up to . More Luanne Rice-like. Hmm.

No comments: