I have begun NaNo 3 years in the past with good intentions. I “won” only 1 of those years, ironically, my first semester in graduate school before my husband found a job and followed me. I haven’t participated the last two years since I got back into writing seriously, for reasons entirely related to time–a topic I bemoan discuss on a regular basis here. I have more often participated in Alison Kent’s 70 Days of Sweat (hey Alison! Where’s Round 4?!?), with excellent results. That challenge is, in part, what got me to my 1k a day productivity level. Obviously, I have yet to return to that level of productivity since starting this latest draft of Til Death.
I am not, in fact, considering National Novel Writing Month as a good way to kickstart this draft of TD. My process just doesn’t work well that way. It’s rare I’m able to get more than 1k in a day and I prefer to take some time on this book and do it well. What I am considering is revisiting a novella I thought up last year or the year before (I no longer remember which). I have never written a novella before. A novella is my idea of a short story (I know…I have issues writing short). Usually I am not a fan of novellas because I prefer longer, more complex stories with more character development. I am making a gross generalization and saying that novellas don’t do that (I haven’t ever read one that managed it in the span of 100 pages–then again, I haven’t read all that many). So why am I even thinking about this?
Well partly because this particular story I envisioned is not, in itself, complex enough to make a full length book. There’s no real subplot and not enough conflict to drive 300-400 pages. I’m sure if I though about it enough, I could come up with something, but I kind of like the idea of keeping this one short and sweet. It’s sort of loosely connected to the world I’ve created in Lawley. Wyatt, my current hero, has a best friend Spence, who has a cousin (Livia), who owns a Christmas tree farm. Say that five times fast! She winds up hiring this guy (Nick) as a seasonal worker. He’s actually the lynchpin witness in a federal case, who has been in the Witness Protection Program, but has been on the run for the last 9 months since his boss (the one for his WITSEC job) was murdered. They fall for each other (big shock). However, cousin Spence is suspicious (being a cop and all), and his poking around alerts both WITSEC and the bad guys to Nick’s location. Anyway, I’m thinking of writing this for NaNo this year. A novella feels much more manageable as a NaNo project, and it would be nice to have a sort of brief snippet of this world I created as a freebie read to give away here.
I haven’t made up my mind if I’m going to do it yet or not. If I do, I want to work up a snowflake method outline so that I know exactly where I’m going with the story. Pantsing it didn’t get beyond the first 6k or so when I started this the first time. I reread it this weekend, and most of it isn’t bad, so I might aim for 35-40k total length. Is that within novella range? I don’t even know. Maybe I’ll play with an outline this week to see what I come up with and make my decision from there.