It is that time of year again, when writers start to prepare for thirty days of insanity, for the great and terrible NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal for writers who decide to join the insanity of the naNoWriMo is to write the first draft of a novel--aka fifty thousand words (1667 words a day for thirty days).
This will be attempt number seven for me. (And no, I have never succeeded in completing this challenge...which probably makes the Three Critics* very happy.) The first five attempts of the NaNoWriMo for me happened during college/university (which is where I was when I learned about this challenge), so it is understandable that I failed those years. My best year was actually the first year, where my shortfall on word count remarkably was the same amount of words that I ended up writing in various final papers that semester. All the rest of the attempts grew steadily worse...my attempt during my capstone year lasted a single day. And last year...well, in hindsight, it took me much longer to recover from college than I thought it would (plus there was something else going on that kept distracting me from the task at hand).
Will I succeed this year? Unlikely, as the Three Critics are sure to point out. After all, I am a writer of flash fiction and poetry, not a real writer at all. But that is ok, my Three Critics need to remain better than me--the world would not be right if I somehow even managed to match their level of success (not alone surpassed it).
So what am I going to write about this year?
This year (until I change my mind mid-stream...which I have done more than once during the NaNoWriMo...two half-completed rough drafts do not add up to a single rough draft), I am going to attempt a (sort-of) science fiction novel: Farmer Ants.
Here is my current working synopsis:
Luke is just an ordinary boy going to high school in a small town, being bullied is about the only break in the boredom that is Sagebrush. But then he learns that there is something different about himself, something that he must keep hidden--for it is the same thing that fueled the witch hunts of yore--the ability to drain energy from other people. Yet as he tries to survive high school without being discovered, little does he realize that someday he will look upon these days as a happy time before the world changed forever, before the aliens invaded Earth.
Yes, I know...this one is bound to hit the floor like a unwanted piece of liver. But this is not about me, is it? No, it is about the Three Critics. I have to fail to make them happy, don't I? Of course, I do--because after all, they have to be right about me never succeeding as a writer. Their world would make no sense if I accidently proven them wrong and succeeded in finishing the NaNoWriMo challenge this year.
(The only thing worse than me completing the NaNoWriMo would be if afterwards, I cleaned up the rough draft and made it into a successful novel--you know, one that actually kept me out of food service because I made sufficient money from it to live to write another day.)
[* The Three Critics are the three people who shout the loudest that I am a hack, and unable and unworthy of being a great writer. There are some days that I only get out of bed and drag myself to the keyboard, in order to spite them.]