Preparing for NaNoWriMo here. Words and phrases flutter through my mind at random times and I walk around in a permanent state of anxiety. Will that scene work? How does he get into the arc? More importantly, how does he get out? And what about Laurence? And Chris? How old is Chris? And more worrying than all that, why on earth did I dream last night that the oak tree was torn apart by lightning? I have notebooks in every room, in all my briefcases and various handbags, in my bedside drawer, even a couple of spare ones in the boot of my car. All filling up with arbitrary jottings; ‘he tears the business tags from his old suitcase’ (Mike and the Mechanics: ‘Another Cup of Coffee’) ‘last line of defence’, ‘darkness of my soul’ ‘holding the line’ — silly stuff like that. Words from poems learned at school, fragments of ideas from other novels I am reading, photographs, screenshots, feelings. Even now I am searching for an elusive quote that is hiding half-remembered in the recesses of my mind.
I have the last line of the story ready although I remember thinking that about Shepherd and it didn’t work out the way I planned. But at least I have something to aim for, a target of sorts. There should be four distinct parts to the story, and it covers a vast length of time, very different to Shepherd which takes place in little more than a fortnight. And even now, reading my notes, I wonder whether I can do it, whether I can pull it all together.
I could ‘cop out’ and write a light chick-lit’ story (I planned one a couple of years ago!) even a teenage vampire story, (on second thoughts, no) or something trashy and popular. But I am not doing this to be popular. I am doing this to prove that I can. I want to write the stories that matter to me, whether anyone else reads them. 50K words in 30 days. Just WHY they chose November is beyond me! It would be so much nicer to do this in February – when the days are dark and Spring seems a long way off. It would have made a daily target of 1785 words, but hey, who’s counting!
What matters though is that NaNoWriMo is not really a contest; there are no ‘prizes’ for completing it, just the knowledge that you have achieved that goal. There will always be detractors, and people who say… why bother? Well, for the same reason that I spend hours writing in a fandom that has so few writers.