We’re only a few days from the start of Nanowrimo! I had a blast at the Hamilton regional Kick-off party yesterday, we may have had a record turnout, about 30 writers and half a dozen ‘Novel Adjacent People’ in the basement party room of Kelsey’s, and I had Hipster PDAs ready for all the writers, which included advice from these spotlight interviews! So today, let’s see what advice, and other things, Lost Limey has to tell us:
Limey’s history with nano:
I first became aware of the NaNoWriMo phenomenon around 2007 or 2008, thought “that seems like an awesome idea,” and promptly forgot about it for the better part of four years. Finally, in 2011, inspired by Jeremy Clarkson ofTop Gear’s infamous catchphrase “How hard can it be?” I signed up. I surprised myself by getting the story completed and a little over 50,000 words written within the thirty days. I’d won at the first attempt. I also managed a word count win in 2012, though that story remains unfinished. I took part in a lot more write ins in 2012, and befriended several fellow participants, and we know take part in an informal monthly critique and/or write in gathering on the first Sunday of every month. So far, each one has been the highlight of that month for me. With two wins in two attempts, I’m going for the hat trick in 2013…
What are you writing about this year?
For the first time, I’m tackling a fantasy novel, in large part because I want to develop my abilities at world building, and NaNoWriMo doesn’t offer the time to get a lot of research in during the month, which is what I think scuttled my attempts at getting my 2012 superhero story finished. I have a clearer idea of what I’m trying to do this year, after two years of being a seat of my pants writer, I actually have a plan and parts of an outline already done, with enough time to get the outline completed before November 1st sneaks up on me. My one sentence story summary is “A dissolute knight is possessed by a century old sacrificial victim to overthrow a cruel god.” And I already have the way I want the prologue, which is about a human sacrifice all figured out.
Who’s the best character in your Nano novel?
It’s a pretty close run thing between the two characters mentioned in my one sentence summary, but so far I have a clearer handle on the knight, Sir Nikolai, who reminds me of drunken Samuel Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, at the start of the story. Nikolai’s someone who has an innate sense of honor is her heart but tends to let pragmatism and depression derail those intentions. Seeing his growth from that low will be fun for me to write. Of course, the best character might not have reveled themselves to me yet, what with nothing having been written yet. I know I’ve had relatively minor characters in my last two attempts at this gradually reveal themselves to me as a bigger part of the stories than I thought and become a lot of fun to write.
What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Don’t do this on your own. While writing is an inherently solitary pursuit, if you shut yourself away and just write, write, write, eventually your brain will dribble out of your ears. Go to as many write in and social events organized by your ML or on the forums for your NaNoWriMo region as possible. Seeing other people engaged in the same quixotic quest to 50,000 words helps immensely. It also gives access to a wonderful pool of creative minded people to bounce ideas off of when and if the dreaded writer’s block strikes.
Sneaky Ninja question! What would you do all night if you couldn’t get to sleep?
I’d like to think I’d spend it writing or editing, as I do a lot of that late at night anyway, but I know that I would almost certainly drift over to Netflix and watch far too many episodes of the various Star Trek series’. I’d also be snacking too much and drinking way too much coffee, as that’s generally how I fill my waking hours.