As many of you know it’s NaNoNuMuKiWhAtEvErThIsAcRoNyMiS… National Novel Writing Month (the Internet tells me it translates to NaNoWriMo), in which writers everywhere try to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, and during which Sean Lindsay from 101 Reasons to Stop Writing nearly dies from cardiac arrest.
While not everyone will be participating in National Stream of Consc… um, Novel Writing Month, I know there are quite a few blog readers out there who are writing SOMETHING.
So you tell me — what are you writing at the moment? Feel free to write as much (“here’s the plot!”) or as little (“um, a novel..”) as you’d like, but it would be great to see what genres people are working on and what everyone is writing.
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Sophie W. says
My Nano novel is about Sven, an atheist who dies and goes to Limbo. There, he gets a girlfriend and fights monsters that are really corrupted human souls. The monsters get the ability to evade God’s eyes by exploiting the power of the original sin. Then they harvest souls of people with a higher PC (“purity content”, not “politcally correct,” although this is an intentional pun) in order to stay in Limbo.
There are lots of explosions. Big, giant explosions. And squicky make-outs. And a semi-Communist leader named Mom, who doesn’t like having his orders disobeyed. (Yes, Mom’s a guy.)
And did I mention explosions? Because the explosions are cool.
I’m finishing the editing on my YA adventure (set in my haunted hometown of St Augustine, Fl)- Some day I hope to settle on a title. Also researching & working on my agent/publisher queries (not sending ’til early ’08 – BTW there are a lot of agents previously red flagged on P&E now showing up under different agency names. 1/2 way through 1st draft of a dark adult suspense set in Nova Scotia. THAT ONE I have a freakin’ title for! Oh yeah, in my spare time, I’m building three hugantic office buildings that need to wrap up by the end of this year. No wonder my boat hasn’t moved.
Tom Burchfield says
I am writing a supernatural tale called “The Vampire of Alpine Canyon,” the progress of which I occasionally detail on my blog “A Curious Man” at https://tbdeluxe.blogspot.com/ (though this week, I’m ranting about Halloween.)
I’m in the third draft. It’s going quite well, though a little slower than I might like, but that’s probably. After this draft, I start lining up readers
I’m writing an epic fantasy vaguely inspired by Shakespeare’s Henry V.
Ian Thomas Healy says
I am a NaNo veteran, and this is my fourth go-round. This time I’m writing a humorous cyberpunk tale called Trouble, Inc.: The Longest Joke Ever Told. So far I’m further ahead of the pace than I ever have been and am feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Once November’s done, I’ll go back to working on rewriting my superhero novel (so I can query you with it, whazzaaaaap?).
14,430 words and counting…
Jennifer L. Griffith says
I’ve tried to do NaNo, but I am distracted by an agents revision request for my completed Lit. Fic novel, Gumbo Ya Ya. It’s a coming of age story about a Cajun girl set on the bayou of Louisiana. Target Market: General Fiction
I am 20,000 words into another Lit Fic set in the Northern Rockies. The story is still telling me what it’s about. It’s told from 2 first person POV…a brother and a sister.
I’m writing a horror novel about an old man that goes on a roadtrip to deliver a family heirloom to his brother’s granddaughter. It isn’t for NanoWriMo though, just my current project in process.
I’m doing NaNo this year, because I figured I might as well try it once.
My WIP is something like “Audubon does Fantasyland”–a fourteen-year-old thief and a middle-aged biology professor who studies unicorns team up to defeat the princess, rescue the Dark Lord, and save the habitat of the endangered Green-Frilled Karkadann.
Dave Wood says
Don’t think I’m creatively built for NaNoWriMo. I’m a tortoise, not a hare, I guess. I just finished a final (pending finding and getting comments from an agent) polish of a completed contemporary fantasy, so I’m working up the query and synopsis.
Otherwise, I’m letting my brain lie fallow for a bit to see what takes root next. Possibilities are: sequels for previous projects, or an urban fantasy, or a paranormal suspense, or a return to a shelved historical mystery, or an urban fantasy set in 1930’s San Francisco, or…or…or…
But, it’ll probably wind up being some strange new seed that falls out of the stratosphere.
(josephine — MG = a Middle Grade novel, as in for the grade school set).
I’m not doing NaNo — I cut out 75 pages per novel as is, I don’t want to have to cut out another 50 of nonsense simply because I was trying to rachet up a word count.
I’m working on a YA about two brothers.
Jim Zoetewey says
An urban fantasy novel based on local (West Michigan) history that connects a bunch of unrelated elements (Jazz, time travel, Jaco Pastorious, utopian ideas, and a corrupt furnace manufacturer).
Also (and just for fun) a totally unpublishable novellette involving teenage superheroes.
Lora T. says
I just finished a fantasy novella.
Trying to meld fantasy and sci-fi in a non-annoying way:
The apocalypse occurred 1,300 years ago.
The remains of humanity have devolved in a new Dark Ages, trying to scavenge existence out of the wreckage the Ancients left behind. The leader of a small fifedom, Amon Khan, witnesses a scene where a score of soldiers was slaughtered by a lone mage. The evidence convinces the Khan that there may be more to the tales of witchcraft than he had ever believed. Fearing that legend may be true, Amon Khan sets out to find the reality behind the stories.
Before the world’s end, a small society of self-described Illuminati tried to avert the catastrophic war that was coming. Seeing that their efforts were in vain, they choose instead to flee. With no safe haven on a world about to destroy itself, they choose the only route open to them: they invaded and improved the small exploration colony on the face of the moon. Through the centuries they flourished, but were inexorably tied to Earth for the necessities of survival.
Elle McBride captains one of the Illuminati starcraft. When a disaster threatens their habitat, she begins to see that the Illuminati aren’t as pacifist as they claim, and some begin to talk of retaking the Earth–of wiping out the Terrestrials to take the world for their own. But Elle has befriended some members of the primitive branch of the Genus, and argues that they should be spared, or even aided.
While tempers flare on both sides of the debate, she finds that a small unit of her fellows have commandeered a ship, and gone to the Homeworld to begin waging war on the primitives. Elle is forced to act on her own to save the primitives, and reaches out to her Terrestrial friend, Simeon, and by extension to his father: Amon Khan.
Captain and Khan must together find a band of relentless killers in hope of keeping humanity intact.
But while she’s on the surface, an ever darker plan hatches in Haven.
Once the earthbound threat is dealt with, and she returns to her home, a second and larger scale catastrophe prompts the evacuation of the Illuminati home. Every ship is filled to bursting, and ferries her people to Earth.
But the catastrophe was faked to exile her and the people sharing her belief. She is left stranded on Earth, with only the provisions on her ship, and the people who were fooled with her.
Subservient No More says
I just finished 55 pages of a novel which is about how a rednecked country girl leaves her abusive, holy roller husband who steals her baby girl, and ends up becoming the leader of one of the biggest drug trafficking rings on the East Coast in the late 70s. Broke, homeless, alone and desperate to make enough money to hire a lawyer to get her daughter back, she ends up in South Florida where she falls in love with an Israeli, former Orthodox Jewish, disco producer with a long rap sheet and a deep reverence for cocaine, who promises to help her in her quest to regain custody of her little girl. Even with his help, a fortune in drug money and the incantations of a Santeria priest, getting her daughter back isn’t as it easy as it sounds because she is facing years in prison, a vengeful state prosecutor, an army of Southern Baptist ex-in-laws who really don’t approve of drug trafficking or consorting with jews, and a real live princess who is after her man.
It’s like Scarface if it had been written by Flannery O’Connor, and it’s the story of my parents.
FROM THE MOUTH OF THE DRAGON
In a reckless bid for freedom, a slave in ancient Babylon conspires with a traitor to deliver the city into the hands of the advancing army of Cyrus the Great. When their plot is discovered, the conspirators race against time to learn the identity of the spy and avert betrayal before the army reaches the gates of the city.
Aimless Writer says
Misty read eyes. If she met you she had only to glance deep within your eyes to see your soul, your world, your inner most feelings. The only problem is she has no control over how much information the person’s eyes reveal or if she will even understand it. Something that’s got her in trouble before. When she comes eye to eye with a serial killer Misty goes to the police for help, but will they believe her when she doesn’t have all the facts?
Max Jennings is a by the book cop and he’s on the trail of the nastiest serial killer in Angel Fall’s history. When Misty McAllister walks into his squad room and declares knows who the Angel Fall’s Strangler is but not his name or where he can be found, Max labels her a whacko. When the strangler leaves a message on Misty’s door step in the form of a dead body Max labels her a suspect, but Misty insists it’s a warning.
Marlene Dotterer says
If we answer this, can we still send you a query?
I’m finishing up my time travel romance, which is much bigger than I originally planned. I’m trying to keep it to 150,000 words. Here’s the pitch:
“The RMS Titanic. Everyone dreams of going back and preventing her sinking. Two people alive in 2006 just got the chance.
Samuel Altair is a physicist living in Belfast, Ireland. Sam has spent his career researching time travel and now, in early 2006, he’s finally reached the point where he can send objects back along the time continuum. His only problem is, he doesn’t know where the objects go. They don’t show up in the past and no one notices any changes to the present. Are they creating alternate time lines?
To collect more data, Sam tries a clandestine experiment in a public park, late at night. But the experiment goes horribly wrong when Casey Wilson, a student at the university, stumbles into his distortion field. While attempting to rescue her, both Sam and Casey are transported back to 1906 Belfast.
Stuck in the past, cut off from everyone and everything they know, Sam and Casey work together to help each other survive and build new lives in 1906. Then Casey meets Thomas Andrews of Dunallon, the man who will shortly begin to build the most famous ship since Noah’s Ark.
Should they warn him, and try to change the past, creating unknown consequences for the future?
Or should they let him die?”
Dr. Dume says
Well, I’m writing the follow-up to a book I haven’t sold yet, which is pretty stupid but well, you never know.
So I’m writing queries for Samuel’s Girl, (blurb:) Samuel Watson accidentally releases a demon, and the only one who can stop it is a self-centred professor who doesn’t believe in the supernatural.
Yes, I know, it sounds like it’s been done before. I need a better blurbogenerator.
Writing – Norman’s House, with some of the same characters, one of whom is trapped in a house with thirteen demons, a witch, a half-demon, a fairy, and a few folk – and none of them can stand him.
Well, better get back to query practice. One of these days I’ll get it right…
Dr. Dume says
Forgot to mention… no, I’m not one of the NaNobots this year. I’m trying to avoid starting any new ones until I can get at least one sold.
I’m not NaNoing. Count me among the tortoises.
I’m writing a mystery, tentatively titled “Command Performance.”
“Perhaps there are worse ways to make your conducting debut than in a shiny-new opera house with a cast of renowned voices in a multimillion-dollar production for which the lighting alone cost more than your entire annual salary.
But if there are, I can’t think of any.”
Frank Shelby is the underpaid and overworked assistant conductor of at a major opera company, but he gets the chance of a lifetime when his famous boss falls ill on opening night of a new season. But at the end of the very first scene of Frank’s conducting debut, a light falls from the rigging to the stage, nearly killing the company’s imperious leading soprano. Frank turns to his boss for help, but while the singers and stagehands were arguing with Frank about who was to blame, their famous conductor was murdered in his dressing room.
There’s a lot more to it, including a bass who’s a former college football player, a Marxist stage manager and an impresario with a Tourette’s-like inability to keep this thoughts to himself.
I started back in October, so I’m already about 36,000 words into it. I’m using NaNoWriMo to help finish.
A historical fiction about a caste of priestesses in ancient Egypt who were second only to the Pharoah. Cutting-edge stuff, even for Egyptologists. No one is going to scoop me on on this one!
A Paperback Writer says
November is the absolute WORST month for me to get any writing done because I have to do hair and make up for two school plays back to back. Thus, I will not be attempting to keep up with any of you and your acronyms.
I am doing yet another revision on a YA fantasy (sort of magic realism, actually) before sending it off yet again to Ms. Big Name Agent who requested the revisions.
I also have some great ideas for two other YA novels, but both are in the scribbled note stage.
As of today I’m 106 pages into Samuel’s Dream, the novel I posted my “I’m resigned to being the brother of a martyr.” first line and paragraph.
While flying over their mountain home on a hangglider, Crash accidentally fools his younger brother Samuel into believing God has spoken to him.
While I await the yeah or neah of an editor and an agent I’m trying to work on another women/commercial fiction.
It’s an updated version with a few twists of the 1978 Alan Alda movie Same Time, Next Year.
Hey Jim Zoetewey – using West Michigan as a back drop – Cool! I live in the very corner of Southwest Michigan!!!
Oh and no- no NANOing for me either.
midnight oil says
In my 93k+ word fantasy novel, Caleb, a young and dyslexic outlawed orphan, tries to overcome his lonely and abused past. He trips into his first relationship, and first friendships, in his quest to find out who he is. He must overcome fantastic beasts and betrayal, as well as an entire army, in order to make a last name for himself, and therefore a future. Yet when he discovers the truth of who he is, he is not so sure he wants to embrace it. His destiny could alter the face of the continent forever.
Not NaNoing either.
Last year murder mystery, this year dark fantasy.
Emily Ryan-Davis says
I’m not doing an official NaNoWriMo project. I’m using the time, and leeching the creative-frenzy energy of November, to finish writing two of the trashy romances that pay me so I can start the new year fresh and free of deadlines. I’d like to dedicate 2008 to exploring my guilty-pleasure interest in black comedy. 🙂
Ok, and I’ll probably write a little trashy romance next year, too.
Emily Ryan-Davis says
Maybe I can pioneer a new micro-genre of romance: erotic black comedy romance. Or two genres – romantic black comedy could be the slightly less graphic sister to ebcr. 😉
Stephanie Zvan says
NaNo is not for people who host Thanksgiving for two families. At least not anyone sane.
I’m putting together the synopsis for my YA SF novel in beta, which is about two kids, a volcano and a time machine that obeys the laws of physics. I’m also working the four storylines of my new YA SF (featuring first contact diplomacy, a humanity-first movement and hula dancing) into a chapter outline and hurrying to get some adult shorts done before I start writing the novel. Oh, and doing fall housecleaning.
My WIP is about an aspiring ballerina, who faces fifth grade in a new school complete with bullies, new friends, homework, and one very cute aspiring Baryshnikov. (summary courtesy of another writer — Thanks, Amanda!)
I’m in the rewrite phase and still figuring out exactly where to start it.
My first novel (science fiction) sold to Iota Publishing this year (won their contest). I’m halfway through my next novel (fantasy). Basically, I’m reworking Dante’s Divine Comedy, but I’m going in the more interesting direction: heaven, purgatory, hell. The main character is a thirteen-year-old English boy.
I’m writing a dystopian YA sci-fi set in ancient Greece. That’s it.
Historical fantasy. 305 A.D. Christian persecutions, Roman gods, the apocalypse, Mt. Vesuvius. Oh, and it’s a love story. Between two guys.
An erotica novella, and I’m way too shy to go into greater detail. 😉
Am nano-ing with a spy novel, starting a week late. No stream of conscious, though. I don’t like the mess.
I’m not NaNoing either. I have two chapters and an epilogue to write in my fantasy novel. A girl must choose to either save the people who killed her mother or lose the magic that has defined her.
Katherine E. Hazen says
I agreed to do NaNo with my future sister-in-law because she wanted to. And, hey, can another motivator to make sure I pump out my wordcount each day hurt? I hope not. ;p
My current WIP is a YA called Queen of Freaks.
Lily Gardner is a freak; dyed hair, combat boots, super powers and all. She can hear people’s thoughts, and until the Great Lakes School for Exceptional Young People comes calling she can’t help but wonder if she isn’t just plain crazy. The school promises to teach her to control her gifts and, she hopes, will give her a place to fit in for the first time since her mother’s death when she was sent to live with her father and her plastic-perfect suburban step-family. But what Lily finds at school is very little acceptance and a whole lot of rivalry complicated by super-powered cat fights, an impossibly hot but impossible to obtain crush, and a best friend who won’t get out of her head- literally. In a place where everybody is unique and wants to stand out, Lily just wants to fit in.
Just when Lily thinks she’s finding her place at school a dead body shows up on campus, attracting unwanted attention from authorities. With FBI agents and reporters crawling around there is talk of closing the school before someone discovers the students for what they really are. Unwilling to give up her new home, Lily bands together with her classmates to catch the killer and keep the school from closing. But can they find the person responsible before prying eyes look a little too closely at the exceptional young people of her?
Wow. Lots of YA and fantasy stories here. Not a bad thing mind you, but I wonder why that is? I’m not donig Nano. I’ve gone back to school to become a teacher, which has effectively trashed about 3/4 of my writing time. Really though, for all the brew-ha-ha over the insanity of Nano, 50k in a month is only about 1600ish words a day. 5-6 pages a day for a month. If you have consistent writing time every day, that isn’t an absurd amount of writing. I wrote a 118k suspense story in 14 weeks last year. At the time, I had a consistent 3-4 hours a day every day to write. Sadly, that consistent writing time is not so consistent anymore. Still…I write, 5-6 days a week, an hour or two a day.
Anyway. my current project is something of a futuristic urban fantasy, about an assistant pathology assistant working in a globally warmed Manhattan where large chunks of the city are now an insane, NY version of Venice, who has a dead merman show up in the morgue, only to have it vanish, and the ensuing effort to clear her name lead her into a big conspiracy between the mob and some seedy NY politicians to rid the city of its new Mer inhabitants. Ah, the joys of run-on sentences. Good luck all with your current projects!
Would you just look at that shamefully-high comment count?
Now you know, Nathan: never, ever invite writers to give an opinion or talk about what we’re writing. We cannot stop ourselves from blathering.
When you ask questions like “What are you writing?” or “What are you reading?”, I always wonder if it is part of your nefarious plot, Nathan. Are you compiling statistics in order to have your finger unfairly jabbed to the pulse of the nation? Is this all a ploy to be one step ahead of your fellow agents in determining what the Next Big Thing in publishing will be?
Doesn’t matter. We shall continue to be your faithful statistics-sheep, for you amuse us. Baaaa. I am yours, Nathan. Baaaa.
Not NaNoWriMo for me, but WriSoMiFu on lj – Write Something You Miserable Fuck! The idea is to write for at least ten minutes every day so that you make at least some progress 😀
I’m writing a fantasy novel. Halley has the perfect job for a Water Mage – looking after the canals of the city of Nocturne Arenaria. Or at least, it’s perfect until she’s drafted by her boss to search in secret for the next Great Mage, and gets tangled up in Blood Magic and international politics. It’s not what she wanted from life, not that Captain Levann seems to notice that he is…
Like some others, I’m doing my own version of NaNoWriMo. Instead of starting a new project, I’m aiming to add the next 50,000 words onto my current novel (the second in a fantasy series dealing with outsiderness and paranormal powers) by the end of the month. “Pseudo-NaNo” is a nice challenge – fun to say, too.
Peter R says
How does anyone write a novel in a month? It’s taken me six months to just plan out all the story lines, subplots,characters, and story brief.
WIP is a second YA sci-fi novel using the same characters and setting as my first, Helium 3. Why YA? Because I can have more fun with the characters. When I’m ready, Nathan, I’ll send you a personalised query.
I’m picking away at my EnvironmentalFantasyMystery (does such a thing exist? –it will soon) MG. I want to have the draft done by the new year. Too many kids to do more.
(I thought I already left a comment, but I cant see it. It must have disappeared into the ether!)
There seem to be a lot of fantasy novelists reading your blog, Nathan!
I’m NaNoing for the second time.
I’m writing the first book of a Fantasy trilogy.
The Kingdom is floating in the clouds while the world below boils in a burning mass of dragons and fire.
The protag is the pincess Ellusia, who is the first child to survive the sickness since the Breaking of the World. The King made a pact with the Ethereans (mysterious cloud people) to save her life. Throughout the book we find out the cost of that pact, the changes that Ellusia goes through, and the isolation that she, and others like her, feel.
The Kingdom is on the brink of civil war. The King and his brother have different views on what is best for the Kingdom and the the King’s brother is winning more favour every day.
Ellusia’s older brother is killed by one of the many dragon attacks and she becomes the sole heir to the throne of a Kingdom that is literally falling apart and turning against her.
NaNoWriMo absolutely does NOT have to be stream of consciousness. 🙂 Unless you’re forty thousand words behind on day twenty-six, and even then people tend to go straight for the pirates and ninjas. You don’t even have to stop at 50k – I fully intend to hit 80 (and “The End”). In defense of NaNoWriMo, there are plenty of serious writers who are doing it because it’s What They Want To Do With Their Life, and writing as a part of NaNoWriMo doesn’t make them any less so. I know I definitely use NaNo as a jumping-off point for things that I can polish and submit later.
Plus, it’s fun. And that doesn’t make it any less legit, either.
My WiP (NaNo-style!) is a historical/political fantasy about a country that has just changed hands from a strong, popular king (well, not universally popular…he was poisoned, after all) to his eighteen-year-old daughter and her husband. Which would be hard enough internally if stronger countries didn’t start looking to pick them off and the rivers didn’t start rising insanely.
My MC is the new queen’s brother, Noah, who really wants to escape the court out of legitimate fear for his life (in this dynasty, you’re pretty much expected to be assassinated) but finds himself obligated to stay and help his sister. And her husband. Who he hates. 🙂
In answer to Peter R’s comment: that’s the point of NaNoWriMo. It doesn’t have to be planned out, highlit, sticky-noted, or even possessed of something resembling a plot. The point of NaNo is to write a first draft with the understanding that it will be crappy…but then, all first drafts are crappy, and you can edit anything but a blank page.
For NaNoWriMo, I’m writing a young adult fantasy type thing that I have no idea where I’m going with but I’m enjoying it nonetheless – letting the oul imagination run riot with magic, dreamcatchers and a spate of disappearances that can only be solved my young adults and some really old people 🙂 Maybe…
In “real” life, I’ve been working on a selection of short stories, and another young adult fantasy romance. I love this one, it’s my baby. There are werewolves and a Romani curse factoring in this in a major way.
I write children’s and YA — the first almost ready to submit (I must stay off the Internet!) and the second underway.
Meh, no NaNoWriMo for me this year.
I am writing a YA urban fantasy, but I started it back in early October.
I’m also taking two classes online. (One for writing hooks and one on building primitive shelters. World building)
And I’m helping a friend with her agent package. It’s amazing how long we can stare at a paragraph or two, while we try to make them intriguing hooks that summarize a 100k book. Eek…