It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was most certainly a brilliant opening for a novel.
I attempted NaNo first when I was still child-free and I commuted daily between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, about an hour trainride each way. It was perfect: I wrote 750-850 words on my way to work and the same on the way back. What I wrote didn’t matter; the story would devise itself every time I opened my mini laptop. I would greet the girl behind the desk at work with the latest developments as I walked in. “Good morning Bri,” I would say, “it seems that we have a murder on our hands today.” She never got to read the (unfinished) end result, it was that bad. But it had 50,000 words and that is all that counts.
The year after that I tried planning my story. It was a bad bad story with horrible characters and the most toe curling casual sexism and everything awful. I wrote it and came 3,000 words short so I also wrote a prologue and epilogue. My minions had just emerged a few months before and I had a breakdown halfway through but my man convinced me to keep going. The end result wasn’t good but it had 50,000 words and that is what counts.
Several years later now and I am contemplating giving it another go. My work is picking up again, the minions are very much five years old (dear new readers: they’re twins) and I was just told by a medical professional that I need peace and order in my life. Naturally I am planning two hours a day strictly for writing! Duh.
This time I am not planning my story in advance. I am getting to know my characters first and the surroundings in which he operates in this story. I labeled the whole thing ‘fantasy’ on the NaNoWriMo website because that gives me the most freedom. There will not be elves. Alternatively, the following will apply. Probably.
* A little less conversation, a little more action.
* Manic pixie dream girls will be shot. Possibly literally.
* Sexism will be punchened inna face.
* Sometimes people, even in books, are just people. They can be dumb for absolutely no reason at all. Suckers.
* Not everybody likes coffee.
More will appear in my notebook I am sure of it. In the mean time, my kid needs new mittens and I need coffee. Cheers!