Well, here we are. The eve of NaNo is upon us. I love that it also happens to be Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year. The spooky vibes are the perfect addition to what is sure to be a terrifying month of deadlines, writing crunches, and scarily poor grammar.
On this eve of NaNoWriMo 2022, I'm filled with optimism. Aren't we all?
After taking more than two years away from writing creatively to deal with mental health challenges and finish up a nursing degree I decided that now is the time to dive back into it. Writing has always been an outlet for me, somewhere to take my brain when I don't feel like hanging out with it.
The thought of aiming for 50,000 words in a month isn't exactly reassuring to someone that has struggled to put anything down on paper. It is a trial by fire. A vicious return to something that was once important--something that never left, despite being pushed into a corner.
So, what has my NaNo prep looked like?
This year I'll be diving into a new novel. The idea for it has been spinning around in the back of my mind for about a year. It first came to me while thinking of the way fantasy authors tend to paint the picture of a mysterious kingdom, often a desert setting, off to the east (or south, or wherever). What if the book was set in this place, looking back at the traditional realm of dragons and knights from afar? Add in a dose of magic, a wraith caught between worlds, and a princess discovering how her ancestors once tried to purge the world of the magic she now must rely on. That's my NaNo 2022 in nutshell.
If you'd like to check out my profile (and maybe even buddy up) you can find it here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/staroson/. My username for NaNo is "Staroson" (yes, that's also my gamertag) if you'd like to find me that way.
To get a feel for my characters and world before diving in, I've been working on a series of character profiles, writing out their thoughts, backgrounds, nuances, and quirks. From these profiles, I've written a handful of short stories that peek into the lives of these characters before they meet. These stories also take place outside the timeline of the main story.
I've found it quite helpful to use these stories to get inside the heads of my characters. Though these won't count towards my NaNo goal or be included in the final piece, I see them as a stepping stone back into writing. More importantly, I've completed something. Finished it. That surge of dopamine has been missing from my writing for a long time.
Whether or not this strategy will be helpful remains to be seen. We'll find out in the coming days as NaNo kicks off and I get to meet my characters in the timeline they were meant to exist in.
I'll be posting regular updates here with notes about my progress, sneak peeks, and much more. It's going to be an exciting month.