I toyed with it for the week leading up to it, and on the first of November, I decided I would indeed do #NaNoWriMo this year. Realistically, I don’t believe I’ll get to 50,000 words by the end of the month, but even if I don’t, I still end up with words I didn’t have before! I’ve hit a bit of a slump, and this should be good motivation to get back to writing again.
I’ll also be doing the #NaNothatWriMo 30-day picture challenge I found on Instagram to have a little fun as well. I’ll post weekly digests of the topics, but you can also follow along on the Highmoon Press Instagram account.
Week 1 has been slooow. Seriously. I have just above 2000 words to my name. Part of it is that I’m trying to plot long-term as I write instead of just writing, part of it is trying to get back on the saddle after the birth of the baby and starting my new job. By week’s end I already had a pretty good idea of where the next part would go, so now it’s a matter of making the time to write.
Day 1: Introduce Your Novel. Not much to say at the moment. I’m calling this one Starfall, and it’s picking up from where a short story I wrote recently left off. We’ll see where it goes.
Day 2. Author Bio. I normally write “I’m a lifelong work in progress.” It’s short, it’s vague, and it’s true. I sprinkle a few details like the ones pictured, and voilà!
Day 3. First NaNo or Veteran? I’m certainly a veteran. My first NaNo (not listed, not sure why) was back in 2007/2008, and I actually won it. I then won again in 2011, and participated in 2012, 2013, and now this year. I certainly know my way around by now.
Day 4. Setting Aesthetic. Starfall is set in a sci-fi universe that exists at the intersection of the hopeful real-world future of Star Trek, the planet-hopping action-adventure of Star Wars, the gritty daily-life-in-the-stars of Firefly, and the centrality of religion in Battlestar Galactica (new). There’s starships and cruisers, hyperspace and space stations, stellar navies and outlaw smugglers, a multitude of species, races, and ethnicities. And lasers. *pew pew*.
Day 5. Author Inspiration. I love Neill Gaiman’s lyrical prose that makes magic real; NK Jemisin redefined what fantasy and sci-fi could be; Kai Ashante Wilson proved that my lenguaje nativo was as valid a language in fantasy/sci-fi as English; Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti was both entertaining and a revelation in short-form storytelling; Anthony Bourdain’s unique, conversational, honest writing voice inspires my fiction and non-fiction work equally.
Day 6. When Do You Write. These days I write whenever I get a chance in between all my other responsibilities. Sometimes it’s early in the morning, other times late in the evening, and sometimes during my lunch hour. I know I should be more disciplined, but this is what fits my life at the moment. The way I see it, it’s still better than not writing at all.
Day 7. Where Are You Writing Wednesdays. Nowhere, since I didn’t write today. I ran some errands, spent time with my wife and daughters, and got a massage which my wife got me as a gift.
Day 8. Main Character Aesthetic. Marina is a cargo starship captain out for some (mostly) honest cash and a grand adventure. She’s around 30, with a tough business demeanor, strong from years of hauling cargo, and usually dressed in functional, durable overalls suitable for her spacefaring life. In private she’s friendly and funny, maybe even vulnerable at times. She’s proud of her Latin heritage (although she wonders what that means in a post-Terran Exodus universe), and has been on a spiritual journey which will be tested by the events in the novel.
Day 9. Day Job or Writer By Trade. I have a day job: I’m an RN, more specifically a nurse educator. I write because it’s part of who I am, because I need to and have to, even if it’s on nights and weekends.
Day 10. Writing Blockbusters. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season is a revelation in what fantasy/sci-fi can be beyond Tolkien and Martin; Rowling’s Harry Potter saga is the modern Arthurian mythos and rightfully so; Winterson’s The Passion taught me truly about love in the most visceral way; Gaiman’s Neverwhere unlocked the magic that hides in the mundane world and there’s no going back.