At the very end of last month, I finally wrapped up the rough draft of the novel I’ve been working on forever and ever.
I put it to the side to let it rest for a while, like freshly kneaded dough (as Stephen King says to do), and opened a document called ‘Ghost Layer,’ a 2,000-ish-word beginning to a story I wrote years ago. This will be my National Novel Writing Month project.
Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?
So on November first, when I would normally sit down to work on Skytrails, which is now hitting five years as a story project, I started adding to this old/new project instead.
Which is cheating.
You’re supposed to start a brand new story from scratch when participating in NaNoWriMo.
But I need all the help I can get.
Plus, I loved and still love the story I wanted to tell (imagine The Matrix meets Ready Player One meets Point Break or The Fast And The Furious—the last two being, as my friend Coby pointed out to me many years ago, almost the exact same story).
And I’m in a place now where I can have fun with it and not be so precious about how perfect it is, or how much it lives up to the magnificence of my original idea.
My original idea is probably always going to be more magnificent than the actual story that comes out of it. But the story will be real, a thing I can print out and people can read and maybe enjoy, whereas an idea will always just be a bit of vapor existing primarily in the sparks and goo of my brain matter (I am not a scientist, by the way).
Actually, for whatever reason this month is full of voluntary challenges.
In addition to trying to write a novel—and, let’s face it, I’m lucky to get 500 words a day, so for me it’s really trying to write a third of a novel (nothing wrong with that for those of you slow writers out there—500 words a day is still 3 novels a year even if you take off 65 days)—I’m also letting my mustache and beard grow out for Movember and participating in a 100-pushups-a-day challenge all month (except one day a week because I’m almost 40 and need a day off).
Why so many things? It keeps life interesting. So why not?
Oh, possible new feature for those of you who read to the end…
Thanks Lizzie! I respect your preference for more traditional sci-fi and I hope, if you read the next book, you won't be disappointed. There are definitely not any vampires or zombies or elves or dragons! And at its heart, it is very much science fiction.