For the last four years, like many people all over the world, I have given up my November to NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short is a month-long challenge where people try to write a 50,000-word short novel in 30 days. It’s ridiculously hard and stressful, but I love it. So this year, of course, I am going to be doing NaNoWriMo 2017. Even if I am starting off way late.
Why Am I Starting NaNoWriMo 2017 Now?
Truthfully? Because I was lazy. I had planned on spending my October blogging, reading, and planning. But that didn’t happen except for the blogging and some reading. And then I told myself I was going to take the first few days of the month to write non-book review posts. That didn’t happen either much to my annoyance.
So, frustrated and quite tired of how things were, I made a choice. I was going to participate one way or another. I couldn’t blog for 30 days like some do, that just wasn’t in the cards. And I have missed writing non-blogger stuff. But a novel, even a short one, was also just not going to happen in less than 30 days.
Wait! If Not A Novel, What Are You Writing?
I had considered writing a poem each of the remaining days of the month or flash-fiction pieces under 1,000 words. Both would be interesting and give me the chance to explore many ideas bouncing around in my head. Some may even prove to be a good starting off point for a novel or novella. And at the very least, I would have a lot of stories to polish and send on submission to places like Flash Fiction Online and Strange Horizons.
But my most successful NaNoWriMo attempt has been a novelette just shy of being a novella. You can learn more about the difference between a novelette and novella in my Horror 101 post. This made a novella the most sensible length of story for me to write.
True. I will in no way win NaNoWriMo 2017 by choosing to focus almost solely on writing a novella. However, and this is what really made me choose this length, I still get to participate! I enjoy NaNoWriMo and it looked like I wasn’t going to be doing it this year.
Ok, Already! Stop Gushing And Tell Us About The Story!
I’m calling my NaNoWriMo novella ‘The Moon Ever Beams.’ If you’re an Edgar Allan Poe fan and that sounds like a line from one of his poems, it is. I’m a fan of Poe’s work and both 18th Century and 19th Century Gothic Fiction in general. The line is from the poem Annabel Lee, one of my favorites.
So now that you’re essentially thinking “Oy! Stop waxing poetically about Edgar Allan Poe!” The basics of ‘The Moon Ever Beams’ is that the story is Gothic Fiction set in an entirely made up world. I plan on there being a mystery, social commentary, love, and even vampires.
Not vampires in a supernatural sense. The ghosts and other monsters of very 18th and 19th century Gothic Fiction are, generally, not really monsters in the spooky, not of this world sense. They have a logical explanation that is discovered during the course of the story. But they are still monsters of a kind and it is easy to see how this would eventually translate into later Gothic Fiction stories like J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ and Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula.’ And being someone who loves vampires, whether supernatural or not, I couldn’t resist.