Alright, I decided I'm going to go for it. The peer pressure from others is too great and I have folded. Once November begins, I'll be madly scrabbling to crank out my 1700 words per day on my way to a fully completed novel at the end of the month.
Last year, I managed to generate some 15,000 words of text. I started with a more or less complete outline of the single story I was trying to write and simply started writing it. As I went along, I discovered that I didn't start in the right place, so I started over several times. After a while, I just kept writing, leaving scenes dangling as I moved around trying to find a place to hit traction.
This year, I'm going to start with exactly this premise. I will not be writing a conventional novel. Rather, my NaNo project is simply to write unconnected scenes, character sketches, narratives of description, collections of dialogue, and who knows, snippets of poetry. I have a general idea of the grand story I want to write some day, but this is an experiment in "taking snapshots" of this world, playing with the pallette, making sketches. We'll see how that turns out.
And while I'm at it, here's just such a snippet that dropped in tonight to visit. It's not 1700 words, but it's good practice. And no, I can't use it to get a head start. When November 1 comes, it will bring with it a blank page...
A GATHERING DARKNESS:The present work draws upon the accounts of my former treatise A Macrohistory of the Floræcarian Worlds (5 vols.), supplemented by my travels post terminus to those worlds, further reading and reflection on the consummation of their histories, and audience with the closing Master Builders. The former volumes grew out of a passion for making known the beautiful and courageous work of the Master Builders and their Guild that our Communion has nearly forgotten in these days of introspection and self-doubt. This passion became a desire to see these accounts laid down according to the best traditions of scholarship. In these latter years of my career, now that the pride of youth and the pleasure of academic accomplishment has given way to seeking a lasting and worthy legacy, I return to this, my life’s work and ask of it critical questions that I believe important for our precarious times.
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE CLOSING OF THE FLORÆCARIAN WORLDS
Let the reader be warned: this most recent work is one of warning and sincere desire to stem the tide of wrongs that is rising in the darkness of the Outlying Worlds. While the general aim of the Builders is well known and their contributions to the vitality of the Communion unequalled, it is not generally known that the Builders are sometimes called upon to close worlds that have fallen into violence and dissolution. While such closings are rare, it is not well known the process by which this takes place or the forces at work which bring a world to such an end. I hope to show in the course of this work that the closing of the Floræcarian worlds represents a breaking of the traditions of the Elder Builders and a dangerous development that may indeed threaten the future of the Communion.
I have no illusions that this work will be well-received by fellow scholars, or by the Builders for that matter. This is no gathering of pleasant facts to sooth the mind of the Communion citizen in these tumultuous times. And while I have tried to make the essential facts accessible to the general reader, the internal machinery of the Prefecture of Building remains a mystery to most, as does much of what takes place beyond the pale of the Communion’s so-called core worlds. Thus, the reader is asked to be patient and to hear the fullness of the account before judgment is rendered. After all, is that not the creed of the Master Builder before she, in her exalted wisdom, is called upon to close a world that is beyond hope of peace?