Last year I did something astonishing, and not a little barmy: 50,000 words in 30 days. This was my first experience of NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Month - in which some 300,000 otherwise sane people from around the world commit to a 30 day timeframe in which we are supposed to write - not read, rewrite or - in fact - edit in any way - a bit like this sentence in fact - until we hit that magic number, after which we can switch off the laptop, reach for the rehydration salts and gold foil wrap, and return pie-eyed and gibbering softly to normal life. I did it to see if I could do it, and lo - I could and did. Mind you, what was supposed to be a 50,000 word novel turned out to be a 50,000-word half-novel that didn't stand up to scrutiny after the event. But it met the criteria for white water writing: I finished the course and survived - and whoa! What a rush!
So, talking to my brother yesterday I discovered that he's also up for it this year. My husband - whose birthday it is today - has got more sense. That's the wisdom and maturity thing in action, but I'll be 75% of the way through NaNoWriMo by the time I catch up, so ha!
Still, I don't guarantee that I'll manage 50,000 words this year, because there is the small matter of the responsible-and-satisfying day job, also preparations for that festival which it is still FAR too early to mention in polite company, also basic requirements like sleep and the odd spot of ironing, and also wanting to be still married come midnight November 30th...
But I took a similar approach last year, and made it, so we'll just see, shall we?
Last year's Lemonade was rather fab in places but got terribly maudlin as I got more tired. Plus, what should have been - I suppose - a coming-of-age novel for a teen/young adult readership, lost focus as I got too interested in the other characters and generations who figured in the life of the central character. I like novels about families, communities and connections, and I would really like to be able to write one. Something as complete, satisfying and deceptively simple as an egg, rather than the literary equivalent of the kitchen drawer that won't stay shut.
Anyway. Last year's identical twins and ESP (Oh no, not another twin bond story.....) gives way to this year's non-identical twins and genetic predisposition. Indeed. Evolving, you see. The North-West of England instead of the South-West and south coast. Physics rather than baking. And this one's definitely about and for young teens. I can more or less see and hear Tattie and Philip and their immediate family. I've got the back story and the central puzzle, plus a notion of how it's resolved. I've got ten days to plot the missing elements without actually writing a single word. Then I'll have 30 days to put it all together in a reasonably coherent first draft - which would definitely be an improvement on last year.
In the meantime, it's still October. What a shame you can't stockpile sleep as if it were canned food or toilet rolls.