I’m not actually fishing. Slouching in a boat in the middle of a lake with the brim of a hat tipped low over my eyes and my line cast into the water sounds like torture. I don’t know how people find that relaxing. Someone tried to explain it to me the other day, mentioning that he usually just threw the fish back, and I wanted to ask then what is the point of catching them? To sit in a boat for hours with nothing to think about to catch a fish you don’t want to eat just to throw it back and wait for another one to nibble? And this is relaxing? It’s so fruitless. I do not understand.
I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – which takes place in November) because when I was younger, I wasn’t sure I could write a thousand words every day, and when I was older, I was in the middle of some project every year and wasn’t about to abandon that and create a new one just because it was November and other people were doing it. But this past April I finished a book and May was spent editing that and another one, and by the end of the month I was aching to work on something new for a breather. I enjoy editing most of the time. But I enjoy creating more.
So I created my personal NaNoWriMo for June to see if I could come up with an idea for a novel, outline it, do character sketches, and get through the rough draft by the end of the month. I didn’t tell too many people in case of failure, which I was fairly sure was inevitable. The rough draft of The Dammerung (just the rough draft, not the notebook full of back story and notes and outlines I had to do first) took a year. Each rough draft in the Rune series took six months to a year, with copious time spent beforehand doing the preparation to write it. Even short stories can take two weeks. But it was an interesting challenge, and seemed far more relaxing than sitting in a boat casting about my mind in desperation to stave off boredom.
I started on the first of June and began my vacation with feverish intensity. I had the barest thread of an idea for a horror novel, but there was no time to let it simmer in the subconscious and gather flavors from long contemplation. Unused to writing with a full speed ahead mentality, I opened a new file and charged at the blankness. Sometimes I stopped to eat and sleep and edit my other books, and I groused to Lady Friend about the interruption jury duty provided. Up yours, civic duty! Did no one tell you it was my personal NaNoWriMo? (And thankfully the case was settled within half an hour of my arrival at the courthouse, which sent me home to do more important things like wrestle with Chapter Nine.)
I finished the rough draft on June 28th. Four weeks, 65,000 words, and it was a book.
Unfortunately when it comes to my blogs, which have been shamefully neglected, and fortunately for this writer, who is having the greatest vacation ever, it is the first of a trilogy. NaNoWriMo has continued into July with Volume 2, and August will be given over to Volume 3. Can it be done? I don’t know. But I’m having a wonderful time finding out.