Tuesday, October 30, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

With 2012 coming to a close, my page-a-fiction a day has been in stops and starts. Now, while I have no intention of joining the actual website, National Novel Writing Month is an amazing motivational tool for lots of writers. So, for the month of November, I'm going to change gears, and instead of chewing through a variety of short stories (most of which I disliked), my goal is going to be to tell an overarching, longer story. Frankly, my biggest worry is that I'll waste a lot of time writing crap.

I'm a firm believer that you can't edit an empty page. But, look at some of the stuff I have turned out during my fiction-a-day for 2012. A lot of it is crap. Is it good to practice writing and drills that produce crap? Perfect practice makes perfect; practicing things wrong only means you're more likely to get it wrong again, right?

Unlike many of my other ideas, I actually plan to follow through with creating this e-support group for those interested in doing NaNo and who operate best with people to cheer you on/guilt trip you. If you ever need me to do anything, guilt is my prime motivator. If you feel comfortable enough with me and other people who know me (the unifying thing for anyone joining), click here.

So, tomorrow, I'll have to start settling on potential setting/main characters and perhaps an overall plot to start building on. I haven't decided yet if I want to go with high fantasy; it is something I'm very comfortable with. This is beneficial because I know the tropes and tools to keep my word count flowing without having to stop to do much research or other time-using activities. I'm always drawn to try writing humor, even though I'm not very good at it, but I feel like with a deadline looming, that's a bad idea. Humor is hard to write.

Right now, here are a couple of the ideas I have, using the Write d20 Ideas plan, I have come up with 20 potential plots:
  1. Build on Protagonist #1 or #2's story from last week. I feel this is cheating, since several pages of writing are completed before November begins, so I probably won't choose this.
  2. During a storm, a luxury cruise liner begins to sink, and the survivors are rescued by unknown forces from under the ocean.
  3. Comedy, modern setting. A man learns his wife has been cheating on him and makes an unexpected new friend. I hate love stories, even love stories about broken love.
  4. Comedy/Drama, modern setting. A private detective is tapped by NASA to investigate a murder in space. Potentially fun to write, but mystery-comedies are hard to do well.
  5. Medieval High Fantasy. A young squire meets a wizard, falls in love and abandons a corrupt empire. Trite, cliche, but fun to write.
  6. Kilgore Braineater, in novel form instead of as a comic book.
  7. Fantasy space exploration. The captain and crew of a long-range exploration ship lose contact with Earth, journey home and find the planet completely devoid of life and must decide what to do next.
  8. A newspaper photographer stumbles across an arcane conspiracy and is forced to learn the truth about a series of missing persons aboard a luxury cruise liner.
  9. An amnesiac wakes up in an alleyway covered in blood with a faded journal; new entries appear as he watches, setting him off to find out what has happened to him.
  10. After a widower remarries, she finds herself haunted by the ghost of her dead husband, who claims their daughter killed him.
  11. After being kidnapped by giants, our hero makes a deal with them to recover the giants' three sacred treasures from tribes of sentient rats and birds that have infested the giants' castle.
  12. People have started going missing from the local mega-mall, and the owner has hired a psychic to help him find the source of the disturbance.
  13. A government conspiracy is attempting to cover up the details involving a small town on the border with Mexico.
  14. A team of trained paranormal special operations warfighters are deployed to an undisclosed location to thwart a supernatural threat.
  15. High fantasy: As the caves in their mountains slowly flood, a race of underground people must begin their journey to the surface and their exodus to find another, suitable home.
  16. A man rescues a dog, finds love, and learns the meaning of friendship, told from the dog's perspective.
  17. A strict, by-the-book cop, is shown up again by the department's consultant, decides to quit his life as a cop to start a band. A sort of parody/send-up to the glut of amateur sleuth genre that remains popular today.
  18. A dying girl's parents make a terrible choice to save her life, and their community suffers.
  19. On her first day on the police force, a rookie cop's trainer is killed by what seems to be a werewolf.
  20. After failing out of college, a young woman decides to pursue her dream of opening an ice cream shop.
Many of them are bad and, were I to go through and have pruned the bad ones out, may never have made the list. The idea here though is simply to come up with ideas so that you can start rejecting the bad ones and winnowing the field. Who knows? The ideas may serve as a springboard.

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