NaNoWriMo 2010

I have been a member of NaNoWriMo since 2007- that’s when I first found out about it and logged into the website.  I have yet to actually write 50,000 words, or even anywhere close.  This year I want to be different.

I have several ideas floating around, and some have collided and spawned new ideas and conglomerations of old ideas.  That is the fun part.  I have several settings – worlds, societies, backgrounds and I have several characters – at least an idea of who they are, a bit of their history and their character, but what I’m really lacking now is the plot.  I have people, and I have world for them to play in, but I don’t know what they’re going to do.

I really want to write this year.  I have been using OneNote as a novel organization tool, gathering information and ideas as I talked about here.  I have a lot of the background I need to write – all except a good outline.  I honestly have no idea where I want the plot to go.  I suppose I could just sit down and let the characters tell me what they’re going to do next.  I believe the writing podcasts I listen to (Writing Excuses, mostly) call this discovery writing.  But I have found that when I have done this in the past, it rarely goes anywhere beyond the first scene or two.  Maybe that’s just where I run out of steam, and my ADD kicks in and I get distracted by other things, or maybe that’s just as far as my discovery goes.  I don’t know.

But this year’s going to be different!  This year I’m going to write.  I’m going to make time to sit down and write.  Part of what stops me usually is the fact that I don’t like what I’m writing because it’s not perfect.  I find that I am as much, if not more, of an editor than a writer.  I like taking a text and improving it, finding better words, better clarification, better description.  So when I’m writing I get caught up on a scene or a page or a paragraph because it’s not perfect.  I need to help myself remember that I am writing – not editing.  I need to just get it written down, and then I can go back later (in December!) and edit it.  I really hope that I can do this.  And for this I want your help.

I need you to act as my carrot and stick.  I will post regular updates (probably at least once a week – shall I start a Writing Wednesday in conjunction with my Mormon Monday posts?)  and I would love to hear your comments and feedback.  I will also expect you to smack me upside the head if I fall behind and do not write.

In talking with a friend I think I’ve got a solid idea for this years NaNoWriMo.  I have been playing around with a few ideas, that I want to combine into one novel.  And I want to explore some Jewish, Judeo-Christian, Mormon Folklore elements – specifically dragons.  Dragons and “fiery serpents” are mentioned several times in the Bible, and I want to write about how they actually exist.

There is also a background, a setting that I want to use.  An idea I had a while back when I read an article online about a solar flare that disrupted some electronics.  What would happen if there were a huge solar flare that wiped out computers, hard drives, servers, etc.  What if a power failure were caused that lasted a month, or more?  In today’s society that is so dependent on computers and internet, what would happen if that were to suddenly fail?  I see the federal government of the US collapsing, without the infrastructure to communicate as we are used to.  And with the fracturing political situation in this country, I see that the individual states and communities would gain more power than the federal government.  And I want to set this story in Seattle, but in a fractured Seattle that has divided into communities.

My protagonist is a young woman who was studying Judeo-Christian Folklore when the Collapse occurs.  Soon after the Collapse, rumors start floating tat there are dragons that are terrorizing in the east.  Because she has studied dragons, and their biblical implications, she decides to seek out the dragons and stop them.  She believes that they are sent from God as a form of ‘cleansing the world’ and she wants to try and convince God that the US is not ready to be utterly destroyed.  She seeks to counsel the Lord as Abraham did in Sodom and Gomorrah, and show that the US’s time is not yet come.

I am currently working on an outline of plot elements, what I want to happen.  I am also doing a lot of research (mostly reading the Bible and Jewish myths) to see how dragons are described and treated, and to see if there are other mythological elements I can incorporate.  This should be a fun novel, and I’m hoping that if I prepare well now, in October, then I will be able to write well in November.

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4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2010

  1. That sounds pretty cool!

    My story is going to be (very) loosely based on the account of Amalakiah and the king-men in the Book of Mormon. Except it will take place in a utopian future where everyone has solar energy and geothermal heating and subscriptions to CSAs – and Magicians rule the world. Yay for magic.

  2. Actually, might I suggest that you also include Islamic folklore in your writings? While Islam may not be a part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Judeo-Christian tradition is a very large part of Islam. I’d hate to see it get left out in the cold.

    Interesting fact: While the Coptic Christians of Egypt trace their conversion to St. Mark, St. George (as in “And the Dragon” is their patron saint. Cairo’s Coptic quarter is plastered with images of St. George. I was never able to figure out why, though.

    1. dteeps

      That is interesting. I’ll be honest and say that I am not all that familiar with Islamic folklore – I’ll have to do some research. Are there some good legends dealing with dragons, or fiery serpents, or angels?

      I am thinking that the dragons that I write about are actually the destroying angels from Revelation – but people have misunderstood what they have seen and call them dragons, or something. There are several instances in scripture and in mythology where angels are described as being flaming, or full of fire (especially Seraphim) – so I’d like to play off of that. That these Destroying Angels are the basis of all of the myths about dragons.

  3. The Qur’an has a bunch of stuff about Dragons devouring the unbelievers, I think. What Islamic folklore lacks in Dragons, it makes up for in Djinn and Angels. And then there’s the Baraqa, the human-faced deer Muhammad rode on his legendary midnight journey to heaven.

    Djinn (known in the West as genies) are spirits of air and fire, not unlike Tolkeinian Maiar. There are good djinn and bad djinn.

    The Qur’an talks about Iblis (Satan) in great detail. When God created Adam, He ordered the Angels to bow before mankind. Iblis refused and was cast out.

    May I also direct your attention to this Ottoman piece, wherein Muhammad vanquishes a dragon:

    The Prophet is recognized by his veiled face.

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