National Novel Writing Month officially started November 1, which I spent doing everything but Nanowrimo in an effort to tie up other writing loose ends before embarking on the new novel. I finished up four flash fiction stories, worked on the cover to my upcoming “Seven Territories” print collection, and sent out my newsletter.
I’m not panicking—yet—because I’ve had Nanowrimo years where I didn’t start writing until Day 3.
Back in August, I started writing a “revenge noir” story as part of my “Write a Story a Week” pandemic challenge. The story had all the proper attitude of a noir story (lots of attitude) and took off with magic, supernaturals, and an occult PI in Astoria, Oregon. I was having a ball writing it, and then realized that what I was writing was not a short story, but had all the makings of a novel.
So I wrote a different story and shelved the occult PI noir story, promising myself I would give it the space and time it needed.
Oh, look! Nanowrimo to the rescue.
I’ve already written three stories in this funky urban fantasy-noir world, so I spent today reading through those stories and making notes in a ‘story bible’ that I can use as I make my way through the novel. No need to come up with new backstory/world building (or spend time trying to remember what I had come up with) when I already have some of that worked out.
At this point, I may be slightly cheating by having started the novel already (that said, it’s only 2,200 words), but I’ll still be writing 50,000 over the course of the month. And I might end up rewriting the beginning anyway.
The real challenge for me is writing a mystery novel, which has me a little on edge. I’ve written two mystery stories so far, but nothing long form, so we shall see how this goes.