You already know I’m planning on blogging my way through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year.
Welcome to post #2
In my last post I mentioned the importance of generating a list of potential topics for NaNoWriMo ahead of time. Today, I wanted to check in on how that process is going for me and give you some places where you can get some more ideas if you think your list is too short. October is going to be outlining/planning month for me, which means I’ll need to be ready to actually pick one of those ideas soon. It’s important to get that list going now and give myself plenty of material to choose from.
I’ve managed to narrow it down to 8 pretty decent choices. This list came from my idea journal (which contains a LOT of ideas ranging from single sentences to 3-4 paragraphs of detail). I literally read through my previous thoughts and picked the ones that jumped out at me. This may or may not be the full information I’ve already decided on in my head. In some cases, for example, I’ve left out some details that would make the idea unique. It’s not that I don’t trust YOU (you’re totally cool) it just seemed like a bad idea to put all my twists out there on the internet.
Anyway, a quick rundown of the ideas (I won’t just repeat what’s on the page. I’ll assume you can read that.)
- Three Wishes Story. This one would star Francine, a character I’ve previously imagined and used in a short scene. You already know I do this a lot. I brainstorm characters and then imagine stories around them. This is not a fully developed story. I have some theme ideas that are floating around in my head for this one, but nothing concrete. Also, yes, on first draft she was the lady in this (very rough) scene.
- Genesis Story. This one was not originally mine. This (very rough) idea for a story started with my father. When he first heard (many, many, many years ago) that I was interested in writing he gave me this idea. I wrote it down but never did anything with it. I always thought I didn’t have the chops to pull off the story he envisioned. Lately it’s been nagging at me in that way old story ideas do. I have very little on this one other than a hasty idea and some possible themes.
- Apocalypse Story. This is one I’ve blogged about before, sort of. Here and here. This has been one of those settings that keeps coming back to me time and time again without any real idea of what would be happening in the story. So, I guess, for this one I have the setting and that’s about it.
- Magic Journal. This one is the LEAST flushed out of all the ones that jumped onto this page. Basically this is something I imagined one day (“Wouldn’t it be so cool if everything you wrote could magically come to life”) and, since then, have only thought of when I write things that would either be TRAGIC or AMAZING if they came to life. Basically, this one has very little behind it in my head right now … except the journal. I have no idea where this one would go.
- Darkest Fears. This one is an oldie. I have a (really, really bad quality) draft of maybe 9 chapters of this idea kicking around. Don’t worry, that wouldn’t give me a head start because it’s TERRIBLE. But when I recently found this old draft, I got the idea that maybe I could steal some of it and restart. Maybe the story had potential?
- Hitman. This was one I once submitted to a James Patterson competition, so that means I have a short synopsis of what I think this one would be. It’s the most complete of my ideas, but that’s not saying much. It did also feature right here on the blog once, when it was a baby idea that was only a scene. It would need a lot of work and possibly a lot of research to flush out.
- Murder. I have NEVER written a murder mystery before. The closest I ever got was putting a murder in Breaking Eselda. It’s odd that I’ve never jumped into that genre before because it’s, honestly, one of my favorite to read. So, here’s an idea (not the only one on this list) that would allow me to experiment with that. I have very little in the way of an idea for this one other than it would be told OUT OF ORDER. No idea how I would make that work.
- That’s the House. This one popped into my head after a conversation/brainstorm session with a few other authors virtually on Twitter. It was probably two years ago, honestly. Basically I have an idea for a scene, but no idea what would come next. But I REALLY like the scene. It’s actually appeared here, on the blog.
So, basically, that’s my list. If you know anything about what I normally write you can see it looks like this November is going to take me OUTSIDE my comfort zone. 7/8 of these are adult aged books, which is something I NEVER undertake. 3/8 of these are mystery/thrillers, also something I’ve never attempted. So, when it comes to this year, I’m just as off-kilter and new and I was when I did my first NaNo. That means, even if you’ve never done this before, you should TOTALLY join me.
Need a List?
I’ve said it before, having a list of ideas is the BEST way to get ready for NaNo. Even if you’re pretty confident you know what you’re going to pick, let yourself make a list. Honestly, I’ve taken ONE idea and combined it with OTHER IDEAS before when it comes to October and I’m outlining.
So, if you need more ideas on your list, here are some websites I suggest.
Idea Generator This is an adorable website that adds pictures, words, or symbols to an otherwise blank work space every time you click a button. There are no rules. You can just CLICK AWAY until you feel inspired. I got a symbol of an uneven road, a hazard symbol, the word BEEF, and the word PRIDE. I don’t know what I would do with that, but it could be funny to try!
Random Idea Generator This one is not exclusive for stories (ok, neither was the last one) so you may get some totally weird ideas. But that could be fun, right? I got Robot Homework App for Students. I could definitely write a middle grade story about that.
Plot Generator This one is, by far, the most detailed. If you need something to just give you the flushed out idea, this is the one you want. I got “Claire is a dancer from Mississippi who falls in love with her golf caddy. The two are separated when the caddy catches the flu and has to stay in the hospital where he meets an irresistible doctor. Things intensify when Claire sets fire to something.” I mean, c’mon that’s story gold right there.
How Can I Help?
If you are thinking about jumping into NaNo this year and you need help … ASK! I’m totally willing to help out if I can. Drop a comment here or send me a message through NaNo (we should be buddies anyway … TShips is my username, find me https://nanowrimo.org).
This writing thing is easier with a support group, trust me!