“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Need NaNoWriMo Help, Please!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Okay. I have four options I'm considering. No, make that three, I just decided to scrap one of them. Just now. As I write. She's a fabulous character who I would love to write but I have no plot for her story yet. So there. She's gone ... for now.

Okay, three options. Here they are.

Option #1
Re-write my 2006 NaNoWriMo novel, which was lost when my hard drive crashed just days after completing NaNo that year.

This story is a mix of real world and fairy tale. It's about a woman who is recruited to help save the fairy tale world of the novel her deceased mother wrote years ago. Of course, she doesn't believe such a thing is possible as it's just a story and, obviously, you can't really enter the world of a story. Turns out, of course, that she really can, and she helps to "save the day" while learning things she never knew about her mother (and herself) before finally returning to the "real world".

Pros: It was a fun story to write the first time. The imaginative possibilities in the fantasy world are endless. I've changed it significantly from the original idea (from 2006), and I have none of the original text, so I wouldn't just be editing a previous novel, thus it would not violate the NaNoWriMo starting from scratch rule.

Cons: I have not managed to come up with a conflict that I like yet. There has to be some big problem in the fairy tale world that she can fix. I just don't know what it is, and without that, there is obviously no story. I've had a few ideas, but none that really excited me.

Option #2
Someone at work suggested I write about pirates. I dismissed the idea as silly at first, but then thought it could be interesting to write about someone who is thrown into piracy in the modern day.

I'm thinking some kind of disaster happens that drives the MC (I'm leaning toward a girl, but it could be a guy) to the sea where she joins up with a fishing boat or something. They end up being forced to turn to piracy because of this major (as yet undefined) disaster.

Of course, there would be mixed feelings among the crew about the whole piracy thing. Some would be against it, except for the fact that they really have no other means of survival. Others would think it was fun and start acting like the crew of the Black Pearl. And then, of course, there would be the mixed feelings about the intruder (the MC) who had joined them. Is she really legitimate? Maybe she's a spy sent to ... um ... spy on them. Is there something more to this fishing boat than meets the eye? Hmmmm.

Pros: It's pirates! That has to be fun to write, right? Possibilities for conspiracy and mystery abound.

Cons: I know nothing about boats or sailing, and my knowledge of pirates is pretty much limited to what I saw in "Pirates of the Caribbean". It would take quite a bit of research to be able to write about the inner workings of a boat, and NaNo isn't really research-friendly due to the time limitations.

Option #3
You have to promise not to laugh at this one. Okay, you can laugh, but only a little. It's a chick-lit type romance (but squeaky clean) about BLTs. That's right, the sandwich.

The MC is talking with friends over lunch one day when she mentions how much she loves BLTs. One of them dares her to eat a BLT every day for the next year and offers her 50 bucks if she does it. A guy she knows (co-worker? neighbor?) hears about this and also (unbeknownst to her) overheard a conversation about her needing money for a car. He offers her a ridiculous amount of money (enough to help her get a car) if she will eat 101 BLTs in the next year. But there are three rules.

1) She has to eat two BLTs a week for the next year with the option of backing out of 3 of them, which leaves her with 101 for the year.
2) Every sandwich has to be a different variation on the BLT. No two can be the same.
3) She has to share them with him.

She agrees to the challenge despite the fact that it's a little creepy because she really needs the money and can't see any other way to get it.

Does he turn out to be a creep or a good guy? Will she give up and give him the money back? Can she really stand to eat lunch with this guy twice a week for an entire year?

Pros: It's pure light-hearted fun. It's got bacon in it. (Yum!) I may have to try at least some of the sandwiches that she makes – you know, just to make sure they're good. (Oh, darn.) And it's a great match for NaNoWriMo since there's no time-consuming research involved.

Cons: It's a novel about sandwiches. I mean really – that can't be good – can it? It might be a little too influenced by the fact that I saw "Julie and Julia" recently. I've never written romance before. Do I want to write romance? I don't know. And has this story been written before – except without the BLTs? It's seems a little cliche, but then aren't most romances a little cliche?

So what do you think? Any thoughts? Votes? Hilarious laughter at the ridiculousness of them all? I've got two weeks to make my final decision. And less if I want time to outline. And I still have to sew clothes for our cruise before October's out since November is kind of taken. Help!

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At 10/18/2009 12:41 PM, Blogger Thumper wrote:

I'd go with #1 or #3...and #3 just sounds like something that could be really, really funny...

At 10/20/2009 6:58 AM, Blogger TK wrote:

My initial thought was, "Pirates! No question!" Then I thought, "Forget the pirates! Ninjas!" (Just kidding). But then I read your idea about the BLTs, and that looks like a lot of fun even for a guy like me. Never mind the fact that I will probably get to taste-test those BLTs with you as you write -- that has nothing to do with my preference for the idea!


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