Tomorrow, writers from all over the internet will embark on our month long journey to reach 50,000 words in thirty days. For some, that means spending a week staring at a blank screen or page, unable to conjure a single word. For others, it’ll mean starting, highlighting, deleting, and starting over again.
For me, it means starting and getting through. For me, NaNo is a partly an exercise in getting over all those little perfectionist quirks we develop over the years, the constant fear that what we’re writing is bad, that no one will ever read it, or the anxiety that our story zigged when it should have zagged 25,000 words ago. It’s means starting and not stopping, no matter what. Who cares if that character I killed on page 35 really needs to be on page 235 for the plot to keep going? Bring her back…you can iron out the details later. No one is going to know but you (I understand, though, that for some people, only you knowing is enough for people to freak the hell out…it used to freak me the hell out, too.)
This year, I’m doing something a little different. I’m going to be what the NaNo community calls being a “NaNo Rebel”, in that I’m not going to be writing a novel, but a screenplay. More accurately, it’ll be a series of screenplays, ultimately intended to find its way onto the web (one day, fingers crossed). It’s still going to be a long work of fiction that shares theme and characters and an overarching story, which the mods of the Nano Rebels forum assure is completely acceptable.
It’s also going to be set in the Blackwood Empire universe, because a web-series was always the ultimate goal. All the stories and fake news articles are, in a way, just world building and backstory for the on-screen endgame. Something I can point at and tell potential investors “Look, I’ve done the groundwork, here. I’ve built this world, developed these characters. I have the script ready. All we need to do is shoot.” It’s not that simple, of course…I’m just simplifying for the sake of brevity. Visual story telling is much more involved than written. When you write, all you need is a pen and paper (or a word processor, or other writing medium), and your imagination. Making something for the screen…that’s a completely different animal, even if the basic purpose, to tell a story, is the same.
So, my fellow writers out there. Are you participating in NaNo this year? If so, tell us what you’re working on, and good luck!