NaNoWriMo: Third Time’s a Charm

September 21, 2013

Third time’s a charm, or so its said, and this November will be my third attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Then again its also said “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result each time.

We shall see which proverb proves most apt this time around.

I decided to jump into the fray at the last minute in 2011 about a week before the official start. Listening to a friend of mine speak almost constantly about participating since the previous year had something to do with that. No outline, prep, characters, artwork or time-line. What the hell, at least now I would have notes to trade and what habitual reader doesn’t think about writing a novel from time to time?

The plot is based on a main character who plays music in a band so the whole, “Write about what you know,” point was covered. But doing things the easy way is not how tasks get done here at The West Report. So I made it fiction, which I rarely read, and as a first person narrative, which is about the hardest prose to write in.

See where this is going?

I did learn how to make shadows with GIMP while creating concept artwork for the book cover but mainly I ended the month with a long list of how not to write 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo. Love the story idea and I’m still outlining for it on the side. “Battle of the Bands” however has turned into the cherished car in my garage that’s being restored over time one part at a time.

For 2012, armed with my trusty list of what not to do, I made sure that first person narrative fiction was off the idea list. Concept cover art was done during October so no time was spent during November on it. Title, plot outline and even character names were started while I settled on trying to write a Sci-Fi novel.

38,000 words.

Not bad considering Aldebaran was simply the still-life star I was using to learn how to paint space pictures with. After figuring out what star it was I discovered that there was literally nothing there. No planets, no other stars in the area, no resources or anomalies. Nothing. Writing a novel about Solgrsteme Corp sending a five ship mission there to set up operations for some reason was daunting from the start. But since I liked the cover art so much I was committed.

Currently I am at about 72k words on that book and am looking at possibly the first rewrite. I envisioned it being a book I with book II being about the interstellar transit time between the two systems. Where it will end and how is still up in the air since it might make a better single large novel than trilogy. No consensus from our scientists on where the solar system actually ends isn’t helping my research either.

So even though Aldebaran may be the first book finished to first draft it still didn’t get to the 50k mark during November. That is why this year I am writing fantasy. No research, no narrative flashbacks, no changing prose mid chapter and the artwork is already done!

“The Fifth” will be a novel following the Fifth Legion through the end of one war only to find another started. More wars also means a higher word count while providing something to blog about. So much the better.

50,000 words in a month? Bring it on.

Right now I’m calling the army a “Legion” as a working name for time / technology period but really have no intention of a Pax Romana setting. We’ll see how well that works out. There’s already a lot of Latin creeping into my character name list.

Then again that seems to be one of the joys of NaNoWriMo. The story started so far hasn’t been the story finally written. 50k mark aside I look forward to seeing where this story will take me during the month of November.

This post = 690 words

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

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One Response to “NaNoWriMo: Third Time’s a Charm”


  1. Sounds very ambitious. Best of luck with this. I’ve had a thought for a gender-political dystopian sci fi work after a couple of non-fictions books, but we’ll have to see. Fiction is a whole different ball game.

    Interestingly, I had conceived of this dystopian work as being written in the first person.


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