Friday, December 18, 2009

Breakfast, Coffee, Project Planning and a Library Run

I'm getting up early tomorrow. I'm going to make a stab at it, anyway.

I want to rise about seven-ish, take my shower and eat some semi-homemade cheesy corned-beef hash for breakfast. Then hop in the car and head on over to check out the Sonoma Coffee Cafe for some strong "writer's fuel" and get some story planning in on one of my NaNoWriMo novel concepts (which I do not have a title for as yet).

Afterwards, I need to go pick up a book from the library that I have reserved that is geared toward helping me in formatting manuscripts for submission to publishers. I have a flash fiction story (a smidgen over 1000 words) that I feel is ready to get out there in somebody's slush pile. (I may submit it to Critters or SFF workshop for critiquing before I start mailing it out to Asimov's or The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.)

The story is called "World Wide Web" and the narrator is an alien shape-shifting arachnoid.

As for NaNoWriMo, I signed up a few days ago to take part in this November's exercise in mass insanity. My NaNoWriMo author name is 'Waning Gibbous' (another reference to my love of H.P. Lovecraft).

The idea behind NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) is that you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, starting on November 1st and ending at midnight on November 30th.

Winning NaNoWrimo is having the minimum number of 50,000 words uploaded by the November 30th deadline. The concentration is on quantity, not quality, so they advise you just to write, write, write and not give a whit how crappy it is, because, it will be crappy. At least for those of us writing our first novels. Nearly all first novels suck. The point of it is the experience. They tell you absolutely no editing during writing, which will be extremely hard for me. I'm used to revising most of my stuff as I go, especially my short stories. They've advised me that my inner editor is a jerk and I should pay her no mind. If you've got any kind of story at all, say the wonderful people at the Office of Letters and Light, you can begin editing it in December. November is for writing only, with wild abandon. Okay. I've got ten months to get used to that idea and to learn how to tell my inner editor to "piss off!"

So what do I win when I complete my NaNo novel, you ask? Well, I win the right to say to people, "Hey, did I tell you about the book I've written?" That's all. Oh, I get special codes to have Amazon's self-publishing affiliate (called CreateSpace) send me a special printed copy of my manuscript for free. And I can buy a winner's tee-shirt.

So, I'm going to write a novel.

What about?

I don't know yet. I have two ideas running through my head at present. I mentioned one of them above. I don't have a title for it yet, but I have a vision of Earth being visited by nano-aliens, creatures so infinitesimal that we can't stop them. They can invade our bodies where they attempt to direct our lives. At first, we don't know if they are demons, viruses or memes (which are still viruses, but more on a cultural level). There is an upside and a downside to their existence. Some of them are good and only want to share their special gifts with us in a symbiotic relationship. Through their incredible powers of healing and superior intelligence, those who accept the alien intrusion transcend and become 'superhuman'. Some of the nano-aliens, however, are evil (these are referred to by the good aliens as 'variants'). They want to destroy.

That's the idea I'm going to try and work on tomorrow morning at Sonoma's.

The other idea is one I already have a head start on. I've mentioned in earlier posts that I want to write a novel called "Mages of Morrow" based on my short story (still in progress) called "Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dragon." It will be set in the same realm, although in a slightly later time period. I could use all of the notes and research that I have accumulated in writing the short story. However, I don't know if I want "MoM" to be my first novel. I feel that my dragon (and prehistoric beast) creations have become so close to me that I need to give that book more than just ten months of planning in order to do it justice.

So, I have a weighty decision to make before November.

Aliens or dragons.

I welcome any thoughts on the subject from anyone reading this post.

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