#NaNoPrep 2015

NaNovember starts in less than a week, and so far my prep has consisted of the following:

  • thinking I could write a companion to High School Soap Opera called High School Comic Book, with completely new characters
  • thinking it might be about time to really write The Story of Disco World, an idea that goes back to NaNo 2009 that I have tried twice
  • creating a NaNo Soundtrack for myself, with general songs plus inspiration songs from each year (except 2013, because I can’t find record of any songs that inspired my writing for High School Soap Opera)
  • skimming through what I wrote for TSoDW in the past, and thinking some is okay and some is bad but I should probably start over completely
  • visiting the NaNo forums, but not as much as I used to
  • thinking it might be about time to really write Escape From Candy Land (working title), which I started in 2013 and probably need to come up with totally new plot ideas because what I had was dumb and wasn’t even 1000 words
  • skimming through the words I have written for Escape from Candy Land in the past, and thinking knowing it totally sucks
  • thinking I really should post in my blog more… and here I am

Yesterday my brother asked me on Facebook if I have been outlining or brainstorming. I said:

Here’s what I do. I spend the last week or so of October planning, then November comes and I change my idea. So I haven’t done any hardcore planning that I would just be throwing out, no.

That’s pretty accurate. In fact, the last year I participated/won was 2013 and that whole novel came about after I did some freewriting with a thought I had several years ago and wrote down in a writing notebook I have. I actually think that is the best novel I’ve written – I’m definitely improving with each one.

So what am I going to write this year? I have no idea. And if I did have an idea, I would change it next week anyway. I may pick up with one of my previous attempts, or I may write something completely new. I only work on 13 days in November, so hopefully my daughter won’t get in the way too much. I actually write best late at night, which would be after she goes to bed so I think I’ll be okay.

#NaNoWriMo begins: last minute change of plans

Yes, it’s true. I changed my novel idea last minute, but this one is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!! I saw this in the dares thread, to base a novel on a board game. And as you can guess by my recent “NaNoWriMo research” posts, I chose Candy Land. I only wrote 361 words after midnight and before bed, but I need to marinate on the possibilities before my brain will be able to start piecing together a plot. In the meantime, here’s the teaser from my NaNoWriMo profile, the whole 361 word prologue/beginning of chapter 1.

“What do you mean we’re in Candy Land?” Liana asked. “That’s not real.”

“Look around,” Jarrell said. The grass looked as bright as a cartoon, and they seemed to be in a grove of plum trees. Looking closely, Liana realized that instead of bark, the trunks were made out of gingerbread. Bluebirds sang in the branches, and yellow butterflies danced around, coming close to the children and then shying away. “It sure looks like the Gingerbread Plum Trees to me.”

“But…” Liana looked around. “How did we get here?” She tried to find a door, a portal. Anything that would help her understand what was going on. She turned back to Jarrell, who had picked a plum and was bringing it to his mouth. “Jarrell, stop that!” His hand stopped midair, mouth open and ready for a bite. “We don’t know if that’s safe. Maybe it’s, like, cardboard or something.”

“Come on,” he whined. “Touch the grass, it’s real. Smell this.” He shoved the plum in her face. “Doesn’t that smell real?” Ignoring her protests, he bit into the plum. He chewed, and the juice ran down his chin. It was the most delicious plum he had ever tasted. It was as if the vibrant color somehow translated into the flavor.

Seeing that her brother hadn’t died, at least not instantaneously, Liana decided to try a piece of the fruit. For the moment, she didn’t care how they had arrived, or what it would take to get home. She reached for a perfectly ripe plum and plucked it gently from a low branch. She looked at it, sniffed it, then tentatively took a small bite. Jarrell laughed as Liana’s eyes widened with delight. She quickly devoured her snack and reached for another.

If the siblings hadn’t been so busy stealing plums, they might have seen a connection between the themselves and Hansel and Gretel, and they might have paused to consider the consequences of their actions. Or perhaps they would have remembered how Lord Licorice had quite frightened them when they were a bit younger. Instead, they enjoyed their forbidden fruit, oblivious that they were now thieves in a foreign land.