Maybe it’s because I never know what I’m going to write before November 1st strikes, but I never prepare for NaNoWriMo. This year, I plan on changing that and writing an outline for a dystopian novel. I’m terrified for two reasons. One, I’m worried I’ll get hung up on writing it perfectly and not finish, and two, the last two novels I’ve written without planning ended up being mystery and YA thriller.
Is YA thriller even a thing?
A few colleagues have told me that what you write without planning has the potential to show you what you’re truly fated to write or the stories you want to tell the most. I don’t read mysteries or thrillers. Mystery novels give my slow-reacting brain a headache if the detective has the whole thing solved by page 15 (Scooby-Doo mysteries eluded me until I was in college and could finally narrow it down to two suspects on my own). I’m scared of the dark, so thrillers have not appealed to me. Everyone says as writer I should read at least one Stephen King novel, and I have promised that I will as soon as he writes one that isn't horror.
Okay, you guys may have to tell me about King since I don’t see him changing any time soon.
I’ve been hooked on dystopian novels since high school, but the idea of writing one intimidates me. My co-worker may say I have the personality of a crazy, caffeinated squirrel--or something along those lines--but that boldness has not stepped up to the plate when I sit at my computer to compose a dystopian novel of my own. Maybe it’s the creation of the government that has to be flawless in the execution but full of holes in the story that scares me. Maybe it’s the character development of a young adult who has to learn what they represent while struggling under the pressures of demented leaders. Regardless of which--or all--of these reasons stop me, NaNoWriMo must be completed because I only finished 35,000 words in 2013.
The more I think about it, the less I want to prepare that outline because preparing in my writing isn’t me. I completed final essays and presentations weeks in advance in college, but wrote my short stories for workshops days in advance. Days here is used loosely to represent 10-16 hours. It would be beneficial, but what are the odds that sticking to an outline will be an option once the story takes off? Anything can change in a month.
Except that darned word count. I dream of those 50,000 words devouring me in my sleep and not even writing a story with my soul. It’s terrifying, emotionally and humorlessly terrifying.
Days Remaining: 22