Countdown to NaNoWriMo 2013

Thirty-one days. Yes, folks, we are exactly one month away from NaNoWriMo 2013.

I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am for NaNo or how much it means to me. This time last year, I wasn't a writer. I was just a grad student who liked to daydream. But after the first day of NaNo in 2012, I knew I was meant to be a writer. And as each month has passed since then, my passion for writing has grown, along with my knowledge both of writing as a craft and publishing as a business.

My new goal in life is to work my way to being a full-time author. And I have NaNo to thank for that. Whether you aspire to be a published author or you just want to see if you have a book in you, I strongly encourage you to give NaNoWriMo a try. It's 100% free! (Minus all the blood, sweat, and tears of the actual writing of course.)

And so, the count down to NaNo beings. Who's with me?

My NaNo 2013 Novel Idea

For this year's NaNo, I'll be writing a YA fantasy (surprise, surprise) that follows the story of a young, professional thief who's hired to rescue the prince from prison. It'll be a little more historical than my previous novel, by not so far back that it's medieval. Here's the general idea:

For 16-year old Maren Salerno, rescuing the prince was just another job. Sure, it was more exciting –and dangerous– than stealing fine art, but as a professional thief, you take the work that comes.  And this one came with a pile of gold too large to be ignored. But when Maren delivers the prince to her employers, she finds herself underpaid and double-crossed.
Escaping the grasp of her former employers is easy, but the prince isn’t keen to be left behind. He offers Maren a job she can’t refuse: bring him back to his home safely and he’ll pay her any price she sets. As the pair travels across the war-torn country, Maren quickly realizes this job could end in death, for both of them. And when the prince discovers the world thinks he’s already dead, he becomes a penniless man, unable to pay Maren’s fees.
Now Maren must make a difficult choice –leave the prince behind and return to the relative safety of her former life, or do the right thing. For free.

So that's the general idea. There will be magic and betrayal. There will be demons: both internal and very real. There may even be a bit of a love story in there. We shall see what happens in November! And that friends, is the real fun of NaNo, the discovery of the true story lurking inside you.

How I'm Preparing in October

I'll discuss in an upcoming post the differences between planning and pantsing (writing by the seat of your pants) and the merits of both, but for now, I'll just say I have a general plan of what direction I want the story to take, but I'm open to the surprises that come as I write. I'm not going to do much else in the way of plotting than I already have (I have a general trajectory for my three acts, plus the turning points for each) other than perhaps do some more character work. And maybe, maybe, figuring out how the magic system will work. And the politics. Maybe. But other than that, no more official "plotting" will take place.

Also in October, I'll be working on a novel that I started back in July. It got kind of stuck, but I'm about halfway through the thought process on how to get it un-stuck. I hope to resume writing that tomorrow.

Oh, and what about VISIONS OF DARKNESS you ask? Well, I started querying this week, (more on that in an upcoming post) so I'm "done" with that one. For now. We'll see how the query process goes. Well, actually it'll go one of two ways: 

  1. I'll get an agent and celebrate like mad and work with that agent on VoD to get it ready to sub
  2. No one likes that story enough to offer rep so I'll get the next story ready to query

So, however it turns out, I'm excited to start the next project. I'm super excited about my upcoming NaNo project, but I think my October project will also be fun...once I get it unstuck, that is.

Why You Should Sign up for NaNo

If you have ever in your life considered writing a book, I cannot stress enough the awesomeness that is NaNoWriMo. When I started, I had ZERO idea on how to write a book. I just sat down each day and wrote. Sure, what I got at the end was a mess, but it was a completed novel dang it! After November, I did some research, learned how to revise, and I turned that mess into an actual story, one that is currently being sent to literary agents. But NONE of that would have ever happened without NaNo. In fact, I love NaNo so much that I volunteered to be the Municipal Liaison for my region (meaning I donate my time to answer questions and plan local write-ins and stuff).

So, find me on the NaNo website. Just search Isabel Sterling and you'll find me. Add me as a friend, send me NaNo mail, or whatever you like. And remember, no matter how many words you write in November, if you give it your all throughout the month, you're a winner.

-Isabel