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Sep 28

Steve’s NaNoWriMo plan

Anyone heard of something called NaNoWriMo? It’s one of those internet things where a group of people (256, 618 people last year!) get together online and try to write 50,000 words each in the form of some sort of book or story during November.

So why do people submit themselves to attempting NaNoWriMo? A wide variety of reasons – some have always wanted to write a novel but weren’t sure they’d be able to write something that length (and I remember that feeling when I was told the required length of my dissertation!), some people do it just for the challenge. Some people want to become professional authors and this is a good way of getting through various barriers to getting a first draft done and either submitting it to publishers post editing or self publishing (even easier now with the variety of eBooks on the market). Some people may feel it’s going to be their big accomplishment in writing a novel, their Magnum Opus. Some, more careless, individuals lose a bet, declare they’ll do it in a fit of passion to prove someone wrong or even say they’ll do it on a podcast. You’d think people would know better than that… (or bribe Liz better when she’s editing).

NaNoWriMo has few rules and it basically boils down to this: You can do as much planning, plotting, writing up character concepts and so forth as you like but you cannot start writing any draft of the novel until 00:00:01 on November 1st and to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo you have to have finished the full 50,000 words by 23:59:59 November 30th.

There’s a lot of support out there and ways you can spur yourself on to get your required words out of the way for the day or build up a buffer in case of a bad day but I’ll write more about those closer to November.

I’m perhaps quite fortunate. I made the decision once I’d committed to NaNoWriMo to start planning early and have a good framework to write from and I’ve got ideas flowing through my head and have nearly convinced myself to pick up a cheap notepad and pen for travelling to and from work. However, I also have a dilemma as a result. I have two ideas that I both love and can’t decide between them.

The first idea is a deeper look into the backstory and history of one of my Dark Heresy characters. Now I already have a decent idea of his rough past, some of the events that shaped him and possible early assignments that lead to where I met him in the service of the Inquisition. I’ve also got a decent amount from other things I’ve written before that I’d be able to use as a guideline and expand a lot on them and change them around so I’m not breaking any rules. The possible downsides come in a “What do I do after I finish?” situation. If I finish it, it’s based on the universe and IP of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 universe which makes it a bit harder to do anything with. Despite doing it for the challenge, it would be nice to think that if I was happy with it one day I could do more with it perhaps.

The second idea I have came from a conversation at work. I started a new job a few months ago and the training group I’m part of are quite close, talk a lot with each other and have had all sorts of strange and random conversations. One of them was the topic of the superpower we’d want to have and this led me to my possible second idea – a superhero story based around a group of people with a few powers each that make them useful individually but really shine when part of a team. They aren’t the group they’d have chosen and don’t always get on, but they’re the ones with the powers, they’re the ones who can stop these new threats. Now this gives me a lot more freedom, could be fun to explore and I have a few ideas in mind for various antagonists and it being basically an origins story leading up to them being established and comfortable/confident in their abilities which could be used as a foundation for anything later. It’s also got a lot more unknown to it. While I have a rough timeline and series of events in my head for the Dark Heresy Character idea, there’s a lot less fleshed out for this one. But that might make it more interesting to do as well.

But, there’s about six weeks left to plan and plot and scheme and this is where I ask for your help guys. Nearly Enough Dice are going to put up a poll on their facebook page and you guys, our listeners can decide which story idea I’ll go with. As the weeks continue, I’ll give you all updates on how things are going and what I’ve found to be a struggle, really useful and helpful and so forth. This is my first actual attempt at NaNoWriMo, so hopefully we can all learn together and get each other through NaNoWriMo 2012.

So, firstly, Good Luck to everyone taking part! Anyone who listens to us or reads our blog posts planning on taking part this year? How much do you guys have planned and was there anything that’s helped you before? Any first timers like me?

Happy typing all, and don’t forget to vote over on our facebook page – Poll closes Sunday 7th of October at whatever time I remember to check!

2 comments

2 pings

  1. Jesse

    Very interesting idea here. Maybe if I have the drive to do it, I’ll write down the adventure of our very first campaign. At any rate, I’d love to see what comes from this project.

  2. Steve

    I’ll make sure to keep everyone updated, would be interesting to red what’s haappened in your group’s adventures too if you type it all up. Poll’s now up on the Nearly Enough Dice FaceBook page too!

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