As many of you know, I write memoir (Impermanent: How I Became a Loveless, Trailer Park Nomad), and poetry (please see the link below for a sample poem), short fiction and plays. I also write blogs, essays, and reviews. I have both a B.A. and M.F.A. in writing. I love to write all manner of things. But I have never in my life written genre fiction of any sort. That's where NaNoWriMo comes in. I'd never heard of National Novel Writing Month before this year. For those of you who are also of an ill-informed nature, NaNoWriMo is a collective that anyone can join where you make a pact with each other to write an entire novel in 30 days. That's minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days, to be exact. But, in any case, as I said, I'd never heard of it. In fact, I continued to never hear of it right up until October 30th, 2013, two days before the writing was supposed to begin, at which point, with nary a hesitation, I signed myself up. Also with nary a hesitation, after asking myself what I would write, I thought, I'll write something I've never written before: a Vampire Romance. After all, I did read a lot of Anne Rice as a teen and last year I became unexpectedly obsessed with The Vampire Diaries. I thought, well, Henry Miller and Anais Nin and countless others made extra money by writing erotica, so why can't I write a Vampire Romance? Staying in one's literary place is so boring! And so, two days later, with some minimum brainstorming (I like to write plot as I go when it comes to fiction), I began.
That is until the next day when I came down with food poisoning. And, on top of that, because of my nomadic house-sitting-in-Northern-New-Mexico ways, I had to clean and pack and drive four hours and unpack and care for animals while sick. Twice. Plus do my other work. All the while, my stomach was performing unspeakable acts of treason against its owner. And, thusly, I am currently 4,500 words behind on my word count. This is troubling. Today, I have a goal of 2,500 words at minimum.
The one thing about this book is that, about ten minutes after I began writing it, I realized that it was begging to be set in the Middle Ages. So, now I find myself going into research mode two or three times a paragraph. I mean, believe me, it's fun. I have long been a bit obsessed with Medieval history, so I could do nothing but research and never write another word, given the chance. However, that's what's good about NaNoWriMo. I've joined a thing. Other people are rooting me on. I don't want to disappoint these other people. So, I leave the page detailing various Medieval May Day celebrations and write some more words. In any case, here are just a few details that I've ended up looking up after writing only the first five pages:
Q: When were priests first required to be celibate?
Q: What sort of prayer books were used in the Middle Ages?
Q: What were the clothing styles for various classes of people?
Q: How did people celebrate May Day in the Middle Ages as opposed to other time periods?
Q: What are some good basic facts on the witch hunts of that period?
And so I've come to realize that, though I've watched more Medieval History documentaries than I care to admit (never mind how many of them I've owned), alas, I am still a dilettante in need of much specific research.
In any case, for those of you who aren't doing NaNoWriMo this year, maybe you'll consider it next year. And, whether you ever do or don't, get ready for quite an interesting little Vampire Romance to appear in the coming months. Will update you on my progress ever so soon!
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