please choose my NaNo novel!

As October is sprinting on, a new challenge is starting to loom on the horizon for all write-minded people.

Yep, NaNoWriMo is upon us once more.

I didn’t realize this until a got an official e-mail last week, reminding me of the fact. For some reason, it’s the same with NaNo as with Christmas – both happen so suddenly. Just – bam! – and there is November and the madness of writing a minimum of 50,000 words worth of story. And straight after receiving the mail, I also noticed that the writing-oriented blogosphere was buzzing with NaNo, with everybody writing about their preparations, their fears, their motivation and so I decided it was high time I did the same. Just so I don’t feel left out.

The first time I attempted NaNo was last year, and I crashed and burned quite soon into the proceedings. Then I attempted the June version of it, which calls itself Camp NaNo and managed to be a glorious winner! Alright, I haven’t even finished editing that draft yet, but since I made that experience of sprinting over the finishing line with my whole system buzzing from caffeine and five minutes to spare, I have been game to try it again, so November is coming just at the right time! (well, it usually does, which is, right after October, but I guess you know what I mean…)

So for preparation so far I have done the amazing amount of nothing. I haven’t even decided yet on which story I should use. And since I can’t decide, I’d thought I’d get your opinions. If anybody out there is interested in playing fate, feel free and tell me your choice. (Just keep in mind that I suck at titles and I haven’t really got the plots for any of these figured out beyond the basics!)



Working title: Demon School

Genre: Urban Fantasy with lots of comedy thrown in and a chick-lit-kinda romance

Story (very roughly): A young woman from a small town, with a healthy dose of curiosity and the ability to put her foot in it whatever the situtation, takes a job as secretary at a London school on the recommendation of an old neighbour and discovers that the school educates all kinds of magical and fantastical youngsters, from vampires to ghosts and to dwarves and to banshees. General mayhem is the natural state of affairs at this school, but when first things and then kids go missing, she decides to play sleuth and thereby crosses the path of some dangerous people who are less than pleased at her knack of finding things out…



Working title: The Treasure in the Dunes

Genre: Children’s novel, Adventure

Story (very roughly): When Dan and his older sister are shipped off to their aunt in the wilds of Norfolk for the summer holidays because their parents need β€œtime to sort things out” between them, he’s sure that it can’t get much worse. That is, until he meets his cousins, who run wild in the dunes and the forests and who despise him because he has glasses and comes from the city and is a pampered baby. When Dan discovers an ancient document, however, all four kids need to work together to find the treasure that has been hidden for so long.



Working title: Four Couples [this is the lamest title ever, but it’s all I can do right now]

Genre: Literary Fiction (???)

Story (very roughly): Eight people, four couples: one in a long-standing relationship, one that has just fallen in love, one that develops a love-hate relationship at first sight and one where fear stands in the way of love. Each person defines love differently and each has different expectations. Over the course of [a certain time] their relationships as couples, as family, as friends develop and happy ends are not always what they seem.


So, which one’s the story of your choice? (I’m depending on you guys!)


About wordsurfer

writer, ex-teacher, human rights believer & fighter, traveller, adventure-seeker, freedom lover, global citizen. big on daydreams, less so on reality.

Posted on October 15, 2012, in writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. I would pick option 3. They all sound really interesting, but I have a soft spot for lit fic, and that is exactly the type of novel that I would want to read! If I had ten bucks to spare and could only buy one of your novels (assuming they were all on a bookstore shelf and were selling for that much money), I would buy that one in a heart beat.

    Of course, I’d happily read any of them, so whichever you decide to go with will probably be great. πŸ™‚

    • You’re so sweet!
      You’re also in good company, two others have voted for number 3. I find that a bit of a surprise, because I think the way I described it sounds more boring than the other two (although it’s far from boring in my head, of course).
      I haven’t yet caught up with all my blogs since coming back from my trip, so I’m not sure if you’re doing NaNo this year? I hope so! Strength in numbers and mutual support and so on! πŸ™‚

      • Grr, I had this whole reply written out and then the Internet ate it somehow. 😦 Anyway, yeah, 3 sounds really interesting to me. I just find stories about people so fascinating! πŸ™‚ And I am indeed doing NaNo! My life revolves around November. It’s my favorite month of the year!

  2. While I like all three of them, I feel more attached to option 3. Option 2 is a closer second. Good luck in November! We can be NaNo Writing Buddies – I’m mzmackay on the Nano site.

    • Wow, that really is a surprise! Number 3 seems to be the clear favourite with 4 votes to its name so far. Interesting…
      Sure, let’s definitely buddy up! I’m wordsurfer over there as well. Do you know what you’re writing in November? (haven’t yet caught up with my blogs, so I don’t know… sorry!)

      • Mieke Zamora-Mackay

        I know what I’m writing, but I haven’t shared it on my blog. I tend to keep my WIPs close to the vest. It’s is a YA, ghost story though.

        • One of my favourite, favourite books as a kid was about ghosts. I loved that book to pieces. My Mum gave it to me as a motivation for making me learn my math tables (I think it was the 7s…) and I still sometimes read it. So yeay for ghost stories! Have you planned it all out yet?

  3. TheCylinderBook

    I’d vote for option 1! But that’s just because I love urban fantasy. They all sound like great ideas

    • Yeah, I love urban fantasy as well! You’re the first one to dare go against the majority – a surprising number of people are leaning towards no. 3. πŸ™‚
      With Zen’s vote in, it stands 2:0:4. Interesting. I’m glad I asked!
      Are you taking part in NaNo as well?

      • TheCylinderBook

        I know, I’m such a badass πŸ˜›
        I’d love to have the time for NaNo, but I’ve just finished one book and feel too creatively tired to start up again so soon. Plus, I’m faaaaar too slow a writer to write so many words in such a short space of time. Keep us updated with how you’re doing though, I’d be interested to see how it all turns out

  4. Those are all great! I’m torn between 1 and 3, but if I had to choose, I would lean more towards the first one. Seems like it would be a lot of fun to write! =D

    • Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking… πŸ™‚ I’ve got all these really cool scenes in my head already. Then again, I have scenes for all of these ideas in my head, that’s why I can’t decide!!! A surprising number of people seem to lean towards no. 3… You gonna take part this time? (please say yes!)

  5. hard one! first I thought ‘surely no. 1’ then no. 2. but by now I tend to choose no. 3 as well – because I think it might be harder to write about ‘normal’ people and not vampires and magical stuff and big adventures… got my fingers crossed, am really curious and wish you lots of FUN – don’t forget all your other goales though!

    • I won’t, promise! I just really need to do this and I’m looking forward to it very, very much! So you’re choosing no. 3 as well… Wow. So it’s 2:0:5 now. Seems to be getting quite clear. And you’re right, it’ll be harder to write in one way, but in another way, also easier since I’m writing about the things I know about (or think I know about). πŸ™‚

  6. Option 3 I think is one of those ones that if done well will be brilliant, if not could fail miserably. Having said that you could say the same for any idea. While I can’t pick a favourite I would say that option one is my least favourite as I feel the school with the fantasy element is difficult to be original with. I’m doing Nano for the first time this year, and have added an extra bit to my blog about it. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing how things develope!

    • You’re right that it’s a bit risky, mainly because I don’t have much of a plot, as in, nothing big happens. The people are the story, if that makes sense. And yep, the school theme could be unoriginal, but it won’t be! πŸ˜‰
      So you’re staying neutral? Ah well… Thanks for your input in any case, it’s much appreciated.

  7. I would go with option 2 because I know what inspired it πŸ™‚ I always think you could get some good writing done in Norfolk.

    If I removed my own bias though, then option 3 also sounds very interesting.

    I think option one has perhaps been done already a bit. Unless you have a REALLY original angle, I think most publishers would stay away from it. And your main aim should be to make as much money as possible so that you can give some to all your lovely friends…like me πŸ™‚

    • Of course! Man, I hadn’t considered that… obviously my duty is clear. Making money it is. I think there would be quite a bit in the second idea, too, parents spends lots and lots of money on kids’ books. As you should know, oh published author of awesome book! πŸ™‚
      The whole time we were hiking up there, I was daydreaming about renting a little cottage and just writing all day and lazing on the beach during the sunset and then going to a nice pub to drink local beer and eat lots of fish and seafood. *sigh* What a life! Let’s do that one year when we’re both rich, alright?
      (as to no. 1 – of COURSE it’ll be original! It’s much funnier – in my head – than anything you’d compare it with)

    • That’s a new one. You’re the first for that, if I discount Ben’s input. It sounds quite like a story we could work out together – wanna collaborate? πŸ™‚

  8. Clearly the SECOND!!! I told you dunes are underrated in literature.
    But if you want to follow the trend, the third is good as well.

    • I don’t want to “follow the trend”, I just wanted to get some opinions on board! πŸ™‚
      Dunes… Yes, they’re cool, but 3 is clearly in the lead by now. I’ll wait till tonight for some last-minute votes and then we’ll see…

  9. good luck my dear!!! you can do it!! i’m mostly excited about options 2 and 3! let me know what you decide! much love! nat

    • Thank you Nat! I’ve added your vote to both of them then. I’ll let you know when I’m close to a break-down, then you can talk me through it and reassure me. πŸ˜‰

  10. The first one sounds like fun reading

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