#NaNoWriMo Prep

Today, I’m spending the afternoon wrapping my mind around NaNoWriMo, hoping to empty out a 50,000 word bare bones rough draft this coming November that’s been buzzing around in my head for the last few months. I’m a newbie to the event, and I’m liking what I see as I continue to snoop around the website for the umpteenth time this week.

I’ve been taking copious notes today on the plot I plan on drafting. It’s loosely based on the horrors of my 1980s high school experiences that I can freely laugh my tush off about now. As I’m pulling together information on the various characters and scenes that are essential to my story, I’m realizing something about the category I thought I was aiming for… though my novel will be set in a high school, this will not be a Young Adult novel. Just because the characters are teenagers, that does not mean the novel is meant for a YA audience.


I am decidedly targeting the forty-somethings who regard the glory days of their dayglow turned pastel youth with fondness—like me. It’s also going to be a comical love story, of course, because romcoms are my thing.

Would a YA or NA person enjoy the novel—absolutely… the 80s are back in a huge way, and our youth are obsessed. I see 80s terms on graphic t-shirts at least once a day (I’m an English teacher), and they’ve ALL watched at least a half a dozen 80s movies because their parents were 80s teens and have made them. Who doesn’t love that era right now?

As far as my plans go for the novel, I’m naming it Breaking Rad because it pulls in the 80s generation with the term Rad that’s hot right now, plus it’s a pun-tribute to one of my favorite TV shows that will hook adults, and yes, there will be a breakdancing dance-off at a Sadie Hawkins Dance which is the location of the climax of the story. –But that’s all I’m going to reveal for now. I just wanted to stress that I’d mentioned in my previous blog that I was considering tackling a YA novel for NaNoWriMo, but alas, I’m targeting Adult again with my writing in tone, voice, heat-levels, and whatnot, but I’m sure anyone who loves a bitchin 80s throwback story is going to enjoy it, fer-sure.

Taking the Plunge


Writing a novel is like strapping yourself into the first cart on a roller coaster, knowing damn well what you’re getting yourself into, but screaming your head off anyway as you rise and fall, spin around, hold back the urge to puke, and finally squee with excitement from the thrill of it all.

Then, as soon as your ride’s over, you run *with arms flailing* and jump right back in line to do it again.

I’m once again returning to my work in progress. I’m revisiting the WIP outline to shake things up a bit (and what I mean by that is switch scenes around on my outline).

The plot has the potential to be a sequel or even a second in a series if I opt to highlight secondary characters instead of continue with the love story from my first novel, and I could even squeeze out the back story paragraph in the first chapter, change the names, alter the initial location a tad bit, and voilà, have myself another stand-alone project to work on. How I managed to pull off a secondary plot that is so flexible is beyond me, but I’ll own it because, shuh, it’s that unique. (Borrowing my MC’s voice ;-)) But no matter what I end up doing, I’m only making adjustments to notes.

Then I’m going to set it aside again. Yep, you heard me right.

Before I go all roller coaster on it, I am going to wait out the verdict on my first round of querying (ever!) that I began this weekend. I’m holding off doing any actual writing for the WIP in the event I land a fabulous agent, and that person has a vision I can share in for the future of my first novel that will impact what comes next, (see all the possibilities above). I’m flexible like that, and so is the novel’s concept.

With NaNoWriMo coming up in November, I’m then going to switch gears and start prepping for the event over the next six weeks. I’ll be reviewing and adding to my concept notes on a different novel I plan to write, which is intentionally designed to be the first in an adult contemporary series, and I’ll also begin building an outline for another novel I am aching to pen but is in another category (YA, R) other than my focus (Adult, CR). I’m leaning heavily on working with the Young Adult novel for NaNoWriMo because, in the end, it’ll need to be shorter in word count than my usual category, and it’ll definitely be a stand-alone, and, after completing it, I will be able to polish it quickly because it’s a much simpler plot than I’m used to constructing while the verdict is out on my first round of querying (and hopefully my only round).

Whether I go for the first in a series or the YA stand alone, I’m definitely mounting that roller coaster again and gearing up to squee as NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. Who’s with me?