Something NaNo This Way Comes

Whelp.  It’s already November 7th.  We are one-fifth of the way through the month.  If you’re as obsessive-compulsive about keeping up with par as I am, you’re one-fifth of the way through your word count goals.  It’s pretty beautiful.  Last year, I had a lot more buffer by this point in the season… but then again, my first year I was pretty consistently lined up with par the whole time.  So, no cause for alarm yet, I suppose.

I’m even happy with my idea this time around.  Hopefully the third time is the charm, and this will be the novel which I actually finish writing once November ends.  My first NaNovel quickly fell apart, what with all of the ridiculous plot holes and glaring inconsistencies.  My second NaNovel is a lot more solid, but the climax of the novel calls for a lot of action and violence- something which I am utterly horrible at writing.  This time around, my NaNovel is soft SciFi, and the villains are working through subtle manipulation instead of brute force terrorism.  So, hopefully, this type of conflict will be far enough in my comfort zone to be able to finish it.

Okay, yes, there is something to be said for using NaNoWriMo to reach outside of your comfort zone, and write something you’re not familiar with.  But that’s for people who have finished works under their belt.  Let’s get the cart connected to the horse before we try and pop wheelies and do horse stunts, hey?  And anyway, this is only my third NaNo.  Check back in a few years, and we’ll see how things are going.

This year’s work is tentatively titled Virtual Paradigm for no apparent reason.  We’ll see how long the title actually lasts, but for now I kinda like it.  It’s based on a work I wrote previously.  I was a bit worried that I would rush though the first phases of the novel, and peter out around the 35k mark, but… I’m at 10k and I’m just barely edging past the introductory bits.  I think I’ll be fine.  Besides, running out of material is my paranoid worry every year, and every year it quickly becomes apparent that I have nothing to worry about.

Part of me is tempted to link to the old work, but honestly, I’ve changed just enough details that the only thing which the two works have in common are the basic premise and the setting.  And even then, it’s undergone quite a few adjustments as I figure out just how far I want to straddle the line between “Futuristic Dystopia” and “Post-Apocalyptic SciFi”.  (Hint: Not very far at all.  It’s barely a Dystopia.)  And you know what?  I’m okay with that.  It’s kind of cool to explore an old idea, and see how many areas can be expanded upon.  It almost makes me want to take a look at some of my old High School writings, to see what kind of stuff could be salvaged.

Almost.  Some things should simply never see the light of day again.

Neil Siemers grew up in Derby, Kansas, a comparatively small town south of Wichita. He moved to Lawrence to attend the University of Kansas, and hasn't left since. Neil likes to pretend that he is a big shot full time writer, although it's probably closer to a hobby. Either way, it's funded by a full-time job in the insurance industry, where he happily works as a cog in the machine for The Man so that bills can be paid.


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