NaNoWriMo begins in three weeks and I’m beyond excited! I’ve been laying the foundations of my project for over a month, getting to know my characters and creating a structure for the book. October is being spent outlining in as much detail as possible and November (NaNo month) will be for all the writing.
50,000 words feels like a lot to write in thirty days. It’s a slightly intimidating number and I’m not completely sure that I’ll manage it (it’ll be the longest thing I’ve ever written), but I’m going to give it my best shot. I felt a similar level of trepidation before starting my Camp NaNoWriMo projects in April and July of this year so it’s a familiar sensation. I completed both of those with plenty of time to spare, but they were less than half the length of this one. It’s a massive challenge but I do like massive challenges.
Although this project has been in my head and on my computer for a while now, it’s still very much a voyage of discovery. I’d like to say that I’m intentionally refining my process, but really I’m still getting to know it. I’ve found that I definitely need a solid outline or I end up changing my mind about things and having to rewrite a lot. I’ve also found that I can’t just sit down and create an outline from nothing because I’m more characters-first than story-first.
What I’ve discovered works for me is to have a firm concept in mind for the project, then spend time with the characters while creating a rough structure. As I get to know the people who live in my head, the story begins to shape itself based on their motives and desires. I create very detailed character profiles and this sparks chunks of dialogue and other vague sketches. These spontaneous bits and pieces may or may not end up in the finished project, but when they appear in my mind I write them down because they always help me to build the story.
I don’t want to say too much about the details of my project because I’m still creating it and so much is subject to change, but I’m happy to share a blurb (very much a work in progress!) and introduce you to the characters, so here goes…
A retired contract killer, a hacker with a poet’s soul, an underworld chauffeur, a musician with a penchant for blood magic and a solider struck by lightning.
Inspired by the concepts and symbolism in tarot’s major arcana, 22 Cards weaves a winding path through five lives connected by the delicate threads of chance and possibility.
Hacker with a poet’s soul. Night person. Hardcore multi-tasker. Vodka, take-away food, Danish art house cinema. Death before drudgery.
Musician with a penchant for blood magic. Pills for breakfast. Keeps dead flowers for too long. Wants you to love her, dangerously.
More casual chauffeur than get-away driver, but never say never. Woman of few words. Craft beer. Concealed weapons. Shit happens.
Retired contract killer, reluctant ex-smoker, coffee connoisseur. Stormy seas and expensive coats. Has feelings about not having feelings.
Ex-military, current wandering god/fallen angel archetype. Accidental purveyor of prophetic wisdom. Struck by lightning – twice.
If you’d like to read an excerpt, which is pretty much just brain-spew since I haven’t started properly writing, and won’t until November, check out 22 Cards’ page on NaNoWriMo’s website here.