Mad

Alright folks, as I said the other day I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

It was a hard decision because my other projects haven’t run to time this year and so the story I was going to use, being an SF tale, is not ready to go. Mainly this is owing to the amount of research required to do the thing justice from a science and setting perspective.

I digress.

I didn’t really want to just try to do the month for its own sake because when I tried this in 2007 I woefully failed. I need extra heat to keep going. I’m also a bit of a tinkerer who is keen to try different methods of writing novels and it seemed to me that these two things weren’t incompatible.

Here’s what I’m going to do:

1. Produce using (or attempting to use) a story design method, an urban fantasy of at least 50,000 words.
2. I must hit 50,000 words by November 30th and the whole story must be finished by 20th December.
3. It must be research light (based on current knowledge or my own world building).
4. I will have a tip jar of some description that will, during the month of November, go to a charity of my choosing. (NB – More to follow on this in subsequent posts).
5. Starting on Sunday 8th I will begin podcasting the story as I go.

Yes, you heard me right: I am going to podcast the draft as I go. Not the sound of me typing as I inadvertently made it sound like when explaining the concept to a friend, but me actually reading the story. Why?

I haven’t excluded the chance that I have actually lost it but that’s not the actual reason. There is a certain, screwy, kind of logic going on here:

1. I want to experiment with producing a more reader ready first draft by doing planning up front rather than producing a draft 0 as I have done in the past.
2. I am doing NaNoWriMo for fun rather than trying to advance my writing career and so I want a way to prevent myself endlessly tinkering. Broadcasting it provides a way of closing the door on the story.
3. Although I’m doing it for fun I do want people to experience the story and I’m not confident that I can proof and typeset this kind of volume at the frequency required to get it out in text (print or online) as I go. By reading it out loud I will pick up the errors as I go – in fact this is how I line edit; all I’m doing is recording it and editing out the mistakes.
4. I want to see what the results are of adopting a serialised approach to writing as novelists often did in the Victorian period and as comic writers frequently do today. How will the results differ when I can’t go back and add in things I think of half way through the draft? Is it freeing or constraining?
5. I enjoy reading out loud and don’t get a chance to do it very often.

Mainly I’m doing it for fun.

So that’s the plan. Beyond this I haven’t done a huge amount yet: I know it’s an urban fantasy, I know where the story is set, I have a faint idea of a plot, I have some twists planned and I have a small but growing menagerie of creatures.

From here on in I’ll be blogging as I go, albeit short posts, about where I’m at and I dare say my twitter feed will be an eye opener: http://www.twitter.com/neilbeynon

I hope you’ll listen.

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