Anyway, I’m hoping to change all that come November when I take part in this year’s NaNoWriMo. In case you haven’t heard of it, the National Novel Writing Month is when you write 50,000 words of your novel in November.
Last year I got 15,000 words of a kids’ novel called Jimmy Gingerbeard written before admitting defeat – I had elbow surgery at the end of October and had to type one-handed.
This year I should have no such handicap. My only problem – apart from terminal procrastination – is what to write about. I have more irons in the fire than a blacksmith during national horse-shoeing week so I should be spoiled for choice. But what could I stand to spend so much time on for thirty days straight?
I was going to go for something in the horror genre as I thought I could enjoy myself with that – I love to make people squirm. I considered going back to Jimmy Gingerbeard, but I would be cheating with 15K already written. I have a crime fiction started and a story set in 1970’s Glasgow begun, but neither of those appeal to me right now. Then I remembered The Knife Thrower.
Last year I had a look at the 6 Minute Fiction site where writers are given 360 seconds to write from a prompt. The day I looked at it, the prompt was ‘knives’. Given my predilection for gore and violence, you’d think I’d have gone to town, but instead a story about a knife thrower began to form in my mind. I didn’t take part in the writing prompt challenge, but a new character started to tell me her story instead. She was a young girl, maybe twelve or thirteen years old and she fell in love with the knife thrower in a traveling circus when it visited her small town in rural Italy sometime before 1960.
I’ve always loved circuses – but not the clowns (coulraphobic) – and began to read around my idea. Other characters started to come into focus: a young village boy who loved my main character, a horse man, a painted lady and a gang of thugs. They all had relationships with knives and with my young girl. I began to get excited about the story and then…..
And then something shinier caught my attention and I was off. I find it hard to commit to an idea as after a couple of weeks, I convince myself that it’s rubbish and I should think again.
But there is something about my character that keeps pulling me back and I often find myself thinking about her and her life.
So, my decision has been made, and made publicly. I shall be writing The Knife Thrower (or whatever I decide to call it) for NaNoWriMo this year. October shall be spent researching and planning and come November 1st, I’ll be at my desk, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to go.
What are your Nano plans for this year?