Monday, 31 October 2011

Tomorrow Nanowrimo Starts... Are You Ready?

The short answer is no, but then, will I ever be?  In less than 24 hours, Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), click this link to find out more) will officially start!!  My heart is racing as I type these words.  This will be my third Nanowrimo, but this doesn't mean I'm going into this any cooler and more organized than before.  Quite the opposite.  In previous years, even though I've never done a plot outline or character development ahead of time (I'm one of those write by the seat of your pants people), I at least knew where to start.  This year feels a bit different.

This year, I thought I was doing well when I came up with a blurb for my YA fantasy novel.  Here it is:
My name is Antigone, the famous daughter of an infamously famous father, Oedipus. Yup. The Oedipus. The one who killed his father and married his mother then poked his eyes out. Now there was a lesson in not messing with the plans of the gods!

However, being the dutiful daughter, I led my blinded dad around Greece until his death. Then my brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, decided to fight over who got to rule Thebes next. They were supposed to take turns, but couldn't figure that out and ended up killing each other. One got a nice burial the other was to be fed to the dogs. I knew the gods wouldn't go for that, so I disobeyed my uncle (the king) and buried my brother. I asked my sister Ismene to help, but she decided to follow human law. If there is one think I have learned so far is don't mess with god's laws, so I just couldn' t leave my brother there unburied. Life is so short, but death lasts forever.

Uncle Creon found out and sentenced me to death. Everyone thought that was a bad idea, I was trying to honour the gods, after all, so he decided to put me in a cave with a bit of food and seal of the entrance. He figured that would get him off the hook as he wouldn't actually be killing me - the gods could save me if they wanted. Right - nice logic there Uncle Creon. That didn't work out so well for him, though as my fiance, his son, found out... I know, lots of creepy family connections, but this was Ancient Greece, after all. Well, I had already killed myself, so he killed himself, all Romeo & Juliet style a couple of thousand years before Shakespeare.

The history books would say that was my story, that it ended there. But, this is not the whole story. This is only the story that everyone remembers. The truth was kept quiet by the gods. Things have changed now, though, and 3000 years later, they agreed I could finally tell my story, the true story.

Not bad, I thought.  I have a plan this year, a bit of a plot to work with.  But I find I don't know what to do with it!!  I don't know what the real story is and will have to make it up as I go along.  I suppose it will involve lots of gods fighting with each other and messing with the humans, but beyond that, I'm drawing a blank.  Maybe I'll need a parallel universe or some time travel to figure this one out.

I've been reading all of these other, wonderful, posts about people who are going to write Nano.  They have notebooks and outlines and characters who are developed and research!!!  These people inspire me and I love to read their posts.  And, thinking on it, maybe I'm not as unprepared as all that, I am a Classicist and studied these myths for years at university, and I did reread my copy of Sophocles' play The Antigone to get familiar with the myths again... But this book won't be only about the myths, I have to make stuff up.  I am retelling an entrenched myth, one with some "colourful" characters.  There goes my heart rate again.

So, tomorrow, I plan on waking up early before the kids are up and start writing.  Hopefully I can channel Antigone and she can tell me her story.  I may even take the advice on the Nanowrimo page and throw some curve balls in from time to time to shake up the plot.  I'll have to look on this book as an exciting adventure and exploration. And in my house, things will go Nano crazy - my husband has decided to try his hand at Nano as well for the first time.  As well as two of our kids (though they are seasoned veterans!).  And I am helping with a novel writing club at my kids' school...

I would love to connect with other Wrimo's out there.  Tell me about your writing or link me up to your blogs or become my buddy on the Nano web site (I'm Namaste).

Good luck and happy writing everyone!!!!!!!


  1. Well, your premise intrigues me. :-) Off to the races! I'm thinking of writing a few words just after midnight tonight to get into the spirit of things. lol.

  2. Thanks, good luck with your novel! I'll be up early to get a start.

  3. Ooo, sounds interesting! I hope you got off to a great start this morning!

  4. Thanks, I actually got 1000 words done before the kids got up.

  5. Oh man! I LOVE your blurb, I'd be picking that book up for sure. Good luck!

  6. Thanks so much Deb. I kind of like the blurb too, now I just have to figure out how to get there!!

  7. Coreena! I didn't see the "more" link and had only read the first paragraph. I'd totally read this book. And I think you're background in classics is a great resource. Heck, anything you read is a great resource. :-)

    Have you heard of Dara Marks? I highly recommend ANY and ALL workshops she teaches, but barring that, her book Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc:

    Dara has a PhD in Mythological Studies and teaches a workshop called Engaging The Feminine Heroic. We all know the hero's journey . . . she teaches the transformational arc using the female deity myths.

  8. Thanks for the great information, I will definitely look this up.


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