I am so excited to announce, after much deliberation and teeter-tottering, that I am going to be attempting NaNoWriMo this year!
I won’t lie: I’ve only ever won NaNoWriMo once (back in 2015), even though I’ve signed up multiple years with the purest of intentions to actually finish the novels I set out to write (and all of them I did, just…not in November). I was hesitant to sign up this year, because it’s been a while since I tried to do a challenge like this. I’m not good at writing every day and, honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a rut since finishing edits and entering the querying trenches earlier this year, especially since I’ve been doing so much editing over the past year. I kept debating: do I take the rest of the year off writing and focus on my reading backlog that will never end or do I plunge into NaNoWriMo and write something new?
Of course, then that brought up the question of what to write, especially since I tried to start edits into a sequel novel of a different series that…well, it wasn’t going well, even when I realized I basically just need to reread the novel first and re-familiarize myself with it before I’m able to actually tackle any of those oh so desperately needed edits. When that wasn’t working, I was even more nervous about trying to get back into the writing game. If this project wasn’t working, what else was I supposed to do?
Well, I knew the answer this entire time, even if I didn’t want to admit it.
I’ve just finished and submitted a novel that I’ve spent the past two years working on and falling in love with.
But that story isn’t done.
I wanted to write the sequel.
But I knew the advice that usually circulated with that. Don’t write the sequel to a novel that isn’t published yet, especially when you’re seeking out traditional publication. What if no one picks up your novel? What if you end up having to trunk it and “wasted” all of that time writing a sequel to something no one else is ever going to read?
It’s not bad advice, necessarily. And there for a few weeks, I found myself giving into and listening to that advice as if it were law, even though that’s where my muse was, my motivation lie, with scenes and plot threads popping up at always the most inconvenient times, walking home from work, doing dishing, fighting with my tangled hair in the shower. I couldn’t write this sequel, even though I wanted to work on nothing but, to see where this story goes and where it ends.
Well, after talking with some other writers and seeing the excitement brewing as NaNoWriMo gears up to start again, I couldn’t help it.
This year, my project is tentatively called WAR’S PROMISE, the sequel to BLOOD PRICE, a pair of books I think could be a duology, unless the muse ensnares me further and asks me to turn it into something more. Even though I’ve only written a page of the briefest blurb, detailing the overarching highlights of the main plot, I think this novel is going to be even more ambitious than BLOOD PRICE–and that novel is the most terrifying novel I’ve ever written. I’m playing with a lot of themes–like loss, hope and survival–while also considering playing with some narrative structure, interweaving narratives while building upon everything that happened in the first book and amping up the stakes to extinction-level proportions.
I really hope you all like it.
Though I’ve never been a write-every-day kind of writer, I am really going to try my damnedest to succeed in doing that this year, even if it’s only for five minutes and ten words. I miss the output I used to have when I made writing a true priority and honestly, it’ll be really refreshing to write something new again.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Add me as a buddy and let’s support one another! I can’t wait to start writing with you all on Friday!