Friday, October 28, 2011

Gearing up for NaNo

(apologies to Lesli for the abbreviation...)

Here we go again. Two years ago I decided near the end of October to give NaNo a try. At first I was thinking of doing a novel based on an image that had been growing in my mind for a while. I'd done a short story that summer based on what would have been a much earlier time period and liked the result, but I quickly decided that the story was one that needed more time to simmer in my subconscious. So instead I wrote a sequel to an earlier project I'd done, and was very pleased with the result. I finished the story right around the New Year and revised, got critiques, and revised again until I think it's ready for publication. Being a sequel, I need to first get a publisher on board for the first book, and I've sent that to one publisher and am still waiting to hear back.

Then last year I picked up the idea I'd intended to do the first year, and that really took off. The book, I think, is my most assured--a quirky and surreal story that I have high hopes for. The critiques have shown me some things that need revising, but nothing glaringly off at a deep level that would require major re-working. I've just finished what I intend to be the final revision pass of the first two chapters before querying agents. I'll need to continue that revision pass through the rest of the chapters first, though, and that's on hold for November. January is possible, though February probably more realistic.

And now it comes to this year...and this time I didn't have any kind of long-simmering idea to play with, though I started thinking more deliberately about it over a month ago. For a long time I've been wanting to do something ambitiously non-linear. My first inclination would be that NaNo probably isn't the best time to tackle something like that--my experience the first two years was that the social pressure/encouragement of NaNo really prodded me along, but I was glad to have relatively straight-forward stories I could race through. This time around, I'm looking at a variety of layers of narrative and structural intricacies. So this is going to be a different kind of challenge for me, but if there's one thing I carry with me from my experiential education days, it's that challenge is good...essential, even. So here's to a challenging, highly ambitious month of crazy writing (to squeeze in around all the usual day-to-day work)!

2 comments:

Lindsey Duncan said...

All I can say is ... good luck! :-)

Daniel Ausema said...

Thanks, and you too, Lindsey! I'm curious to see what get written this year.