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Monday, 22 October 2012

The Twilight-land of NaNoWriMo - Are You Game to Enter?

For the fourth year running I will be committing the month of November to pure insanity! This is also known as NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. For 30 days I will buckle down, eat a truckload of red bullets, avoid chores and human contact - all in the crazy notion I can get a novel completed in that time. Three years straight have proved that I can.

This year is a little different though. Normally, the month of October is spent researching my chosen topic. The topic is normally finalised sometime around August/September, although the search for it starts on December the 1st. This October I have researched...nothing.

Not once have I typed something into Google and wondered if this will be the final straw that breaks the camel at the FBI headquarters' back. In previous years I have actually typed the following terms into Google: AIDS, cold & flu viruses, genetic mutations, crossing the common cold with another virus, glock, red glock, how to use a gun, mental institutions of Australia, floor plans of Larundel, mental health act of Victoria, delusional episodes, Lithium, legal requirements for mental illness, mental illness boundaries within the confines of the law, conspiracy theories, how to use a bow and arrow, deer stalking (actually, that last one was my husband, but it's sure to muddy the water some more). Yep, the FBI have to be concerned by now!

So what inspired this turn of events? Surely, with three completed manuscripts, I have have proven to myself that this is the magical formula needed? Well, actually, the first manuscript was completed, but absolute rubbish. This year I am attempting to rectify this.

In the far away year of 2009, back in the days when dreaming about being a published author was a full time occupation for me, I had also read a little known book by an author you've probably never heard of, a Mormon bird called Stephenie Meyers. That book had the peculiar title of Twilight. It was my first foray into the vampire genre and I am embarrassed to say that I delved into that book three times (and the subsequent unheard of follow-ups  New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn). I found it delicious yet not nearly bad enough for me. I wanted my vampires to be just a little more kick arse in the nasty but drool worthy department. If Meyers could write about vampires, then anyone could, I decided before embarking on the NaNoWriMo ship, Viking hat firmly planted on top of my head!

So I attempted to write my own vampire novel. As a result, Indiana Meets A Vampire was written in 30 days and 30,000 words over budget. I wrote the whole thing in 1st person. It was glorified, albeit badly written, porn but it was mine and I loved it dearly.

During that month I also picked up my second vampire crush. A small tome called Dead Until Dark, written by a quaint little southerner called Charlaine Harris. I wish I had the time to read this novel during NaNoWriMo. Some would say I should have read it instead of writing Indiana Meets A Vampire.

So, after my second attempt at NaNoWriMo, I scored my first publishable novel, you've probably heard me speak of it occasionally? If not, you can buy it here. Emeline and the Mutants taught me that I should only ever write in 3rd person - especially when there are sex scenes involved! Reading my biting, dirty, nasty vampire/human sex scenes is why some people cannot look me in the eye to this day. I still apologise to my beta readers for this.

In an attempt to rectify the horrific mental images I forced upon people in 2009, I will be ripping apart Indiana Meets A Vampire (and giving it the tentative working title of Indiana Loses Her Mind But Finds Her Way). Sure, there will still be vampires in it, the story just wouldn't be the same without Sam, the vamp who travelled to Australia on the First Fleet. Camilla Le Fanu will be there also, but I suspect the major role she plays in book three (oh, did I forget to mention that I tortured my beta readers three times that year?), will be dimmed quite significantly. The story this time round will be more about Indiana and her unique abilities. Her memory loss will still be there and playing an integral part in the plot. I won't deny readers vast amounts of blood and gore and sex either, but hopefully I can keep most of it justifiable this time round!

So, is this considered cheating? Well, I don't, but other might, is the short answer. I will be keeping the plot line for the first two novels basically the same. The third novel now has a very distinct and remarkably tragic ending, but no start or middle (and probably no need for it's current title of Indiana Goes to a Brothel!). I will be reading the original manuscript before rewriting it, but then things will get interesting as I write the lot from scratch!

Want to watch my progress during November, then either check back here, or watch the live updates on my NaNoWriMo profile here. The burning question is though - will I eat more red bullets than last year?


Connie J Jasperson said...

Awesome Post Rachel - and I am reposting this in my local OlyNaNos fb room! My NaNos will benefit from the optimism and the fact that it CAN be done!

Carlie Cullen said...

Great post, Rachel. My first NaNoWriMo was last year and was chuffed when I completed my 50,000 word target. The novel, which is still not quite finished was put aside for Heart Search: Lost and this year I'm going to be a rebel! :-D
Good luck, dear friend. I'll meet you in NaNo . . . somewhere!

Rachel Tsoumbakos said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this Connie :-) But you're right, at this time of year it can all be a bit daunting ;-) And Carlie - can't WAIT to see you there ;-D