NaNo WriMo '20
New Novel: The Enchanted Fish Society
Every year, I participate in National Novel Writing Month. Basically, writers challenge themselves to write an entire (very rough draft of a) novel in the month of November. Personally, it pushes me to write more and at a quicker pace, motivated by community, with a tangible goal to fulfill.
But how do I decide what novel to write? Previous years, I would borrow stories from my comic/graphic novel ideas, because I was participating in an annual comics art exhibit at the same time. Merging goals, I could make them together.
>> See my interactive illustration installations <<
Since then, I continued to invent inter-connected projects. My latest strategy is pairing NaNoWriMo with the artists' challenge Inktober (in October). Using the provided prompts to make an ink drawing every day, I combine these rather randomized ideas into a spontaneously-generated novel... then reshape and refine it into a more cohesive narrative.
Storyline & Characters
Jonas is an ambassador of the ocean, who handles the daily concerns of magical sea creatures and their underwater society. Also, he officially represents their interests when dealing with ordinary humans. His expertise is requested when a mysterious flying capsule crashes into the sea, carrying a strange traveler.
Mai was part of the Moon Mission, building a tech infrastructure for the lunar space station, to defend Earth from any dangerous - potentially apocalyptic - meteor showers. She was fully devoted to her purpose, until an unexpected turn of events compels her return. When the pod crashes, she encounters Jonas and his team.
Buddy seems like a cheerful charlatan, as he recruits Jonas and Mai into helping with an archaeological dig that he claims holds secrets to time travel and teleportation. Although he probably knows more than he lets on, they come to trust his motives are worthy, when it becomes clear sinister forces are lurking that he's trying to stop.
Giselle may appear to be a pretty face at another fancy party, but she holds a vast network of information and secrets, and communes with forest spirits. She proves an important ally, protector, and spy for those defending against destruction - a valuable friend when the very fate of the world is in the balance.
Progress So Far...
While I did complete my 50,000 words in November, this involved giving myself a lot of grace about what qualified toward that number.
January/February were supposed to be the editing months, though it was hard to carve out enough time. But I listened in on a live YouTube session hosted by the NaNoWriMo team that gave me additional insights, and polished a piece of the story enough to be critiqued in an online writers group.
April is now my next attempt to "finish" editing the novel. For me, this means making it properly cohesive and readable by others. Though realistically, there may not be enough time, at least this intention will keep me moving forward.