Thursday, October 22, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 and a change of direction

After not being able to really able to devote the time necessary since I discovered it a couple of years ago, this year I'm going to do NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month! What is that you ask? I'll let them explain (click through to the site for further info):

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

My biggest decision to make after deciding to do it was figuring out which of the several suitable backburner projects to pursue: 1) The near future genre mash up with giant monsters, luchadores, Lovecraftian creatures, alien invaders and more; or 2) a contemporary horror/thriller set in a city you can’t easily escape; or 3) a YA novel about a boy whose twelfth year takes several unexpected turns (there's some magic in it, but it will most likely be of the wonderment kind since he's not a magician). The first two are pretty massive undertakings, containing large worlds inhabited with lots of characters and I haven't had too much opportunity to really think them out yet. That's what knocked them out of contention.

The YA book, well, it's a bit smaller in scale (even though it is the first of four) and somewhat more fleshed out in my head. I've just over a week to get down further notes, ideas etc. (you can't start actually writing until November 1st), and plan to spend part of this weekend doing just that. At the end of each day you're supposed to update your word count on their site, I'll do it here as well, perhaps with occasional excerpts and updates on the action. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. Tough on a full time Day Job, but not impossible. I'm excited for the challenge, and the new direction in my writing.

That new direction comes at a price, however. I've posted before about my involvement with the upcoming Planet of the Apes novel, as well as my own creator owned comic series, both produced by the company I co-founded--BLAM! Ventures--and the latter to be published by Archaia. For reasons mainly personal, as of October 1st I have left BLAM! and both of those projects. It was a difficult decision, but one a long time coming and which I believe will be best for myself and for BLAM! Ventures in the long run.

My friend and BLAM! partner Drew Gaska has been stewarding these projects and more at BLAM! for a while now, and I know he will bring you nothing less than the highest quality entertainment. When they arrive I will be trumpeting them to all who will hear, and I will be eagerly awaiting to see the final product myself.

The funny thing about all of this is for the longest time I have been disheartened with my writing life and fully expected to back away for months at the very least before trying again. A week ago, though, I saw the link to NaNoWriMo and the spark I got quickly spread to flame. I feel a desire to write that I haven't in years. It may not last, I may fall back to where I was before on the brink of giving it up, but for now the words call to me again. And I believe I am back in the business of listening to them.

Nine days and counting...


Laura said...

Wow. That must have been a difficult decision to make. I'm glad that you are following the spark. Good luck with it!

Christian Berntsen said...

Thanks, Laura. As I said, it will be for the best all around.