Hey everyone! So my post today is all about my plans for the NaNoWriMo contest for 2016.
If you don’t know, NaNoWriMo, or NaNo, stands for National Novel Writing Month and it is an event that happens every year in November where participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in the month. The goal isn’t to write, edit, and have a ready-to-publish work, but it is meant to get writers to actually just sit down and write.
First up, some history of me and NaNo. I am not a full time writer or anything, but writing is something that I’ve taken up as a hobby on and off throughout my life. I find it funny that I never thought of myself as a creative person until I mentioned it to my mom, who then looked at me in the eye and asked “what are you talking about? You’re super creative!” So thanks mom!
I encountered NaNo in college through some friends and through Twitter. I didn’t join in for my freshman year but I did join my Sophomore year and I ended up winning! You can win by reaching 50,000 words in the month.
I have participated a few more times since then, I think I’ve lost another two or three and then won last year. It’s gotten harder and harder through the years as I have taken up more and more responsibilities and life intervenes.
At the end of 2015 I had really thought that I wouldn’t do 2016. I wrote a blog post in which I did say I wanted to publish my book, which I find a little hilarious as I opened the document today and couldn’t even remember what I had written! I remember I just barely managed to win despite a strong start and then I started to rewrite the book I wrote due to having a better idea for the story but it still isn’t very good.
This year I logged onto the NaNo site to review the “rules” after I watched a youtuber talk about how they were rewriting a previous idea. It stuck me odd as I had thought it was technically “not allowed” for NaNo, as you were supposed to start with a brand new idea. Since the start the “rules” have loosened quite a bit so rewrites are allowed. I put quotes around these words because it’s always been a very honor based system. No one checks, you just have to write.
This year I’m torn between 1) rewriting my work from last year or 2) rewriting my novel that I started but didn’t finish for Camp Nano earlier this year (a smaller and less structured version of NaNo), 3) writing a new story that I started but abandoned earlier this year, 4) writing my latest idea, or 5) trying to come up with a new idea entirely and prepare in two weeks for that new idea.
Idea 1 was a book that I started writing before the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas entered my life. I mention this because after reading the series, I thought my idea was a little too similar, an assassin who is separated from her guild basically. It is very different in a lot of ways, but I feel like the main idea is still too similar.
Idea 2 is superhero inspired but I think that the issue with this one is too much like Arrow where the main character ends up on an island hidden from the rest of the world. It’s different because in my version my character ends up on the island after being trained and meets friendly inhabitants while Arrow trains on the ruthless island. Again, I wrote this before watching the show and realized the similarities after.
Idea 3 is also superhero inspired and I really loved this idea. However, I later thought of a better way to write this book. Not as a novel but as a graphic novel. I’m not good at drawing so I might try to at least write this one for a Camp Nano and describe the pictures I’d like to see with it.
Idea 4 is also assassin based but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s too Star Wars meets Ideas 1 and 2. I like this the best because I think it’s more thought out at this point than either of the above ideas were two weeks before NaNo started (the others were last minute decisions to participate) but the similarities also annoy me. Another issue with this one though is that I’ve thought about it so much that I have three potential starting points and I wouldn’t want to smush all three points into one book, nor am I interested in starting a trilogy at this point.
Idea 5… I have no idea where it would come from! I normally try to make new worlds and write about more fantastical adventures rather than contemporaries or everyday themes.
I guess it’s normal for writers to be inspired by their favorite works and for themes of their works to show up in others, especially if the brain knows the idea is unfinished. I think they’re all different enough from the ideas that they were born from and the works that I later realized were similar but I don’t like that I have noticed it and I worry that perhaps the similarities will sneak in too much now that I have read or watched those works. I’ll definitely be thinking more about this in the next couple of weeks before diving into writing for NaNo 2016!
Let me know if you are planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year! Feel free to add me, my username on there is Ines99.
Thanks for reading!