Monday Musings: NaNoWriMo is Upon Us

Oh, yes, the annual frenzy of National Novel Writing Month has begun. Yes, I am participating this year, but not for writing a novel. I am using this month to keep me focused on developing an idea I had for a YA fantasy. There will be writing done. There has already been some. But I am not going to try to get to the 50K goal that is usual with NaNoWriMo.

Why? Well, a couple things. I still have work to do on The Demon’s in the Details, if I am going to stick to my plan of releasing it in January. We are having our family holiday celebration at the beginning of December and a week after that, some friends here for a small party. Yes, those are in December, but there is work to be done before they can happen. I also have a couple small things to get done. I just don’t think I can cram all of that into a month where I am also trying to write 1700-2000 words a day. So, I am taking some of the pressure off by not holding myself to that writing goal, but still keeping things moving forward with this new idea.

Also, YA is new territory for me. I have until now, felt my best focus was on an adult audience. Not that teens couldn’t read what I have written, I just haven’t deliberately focused on that segment of readers specifically. So, I am finding I need to adjust my thinking about this story a bit. I think it is going to take a bit more specific and detailed planning to keep it focused on the YA age group.

What is it? Well, the working title is The Gate. I am calling it Secret Garden meets Narnia meets Harry Potter. Kind of. The plot description right now is:

The Gate is a YA fantasy story set at the Highpennie School. Sarah comes to the school, thinking it is going to be a boring, dumb school run by people who still think they live in the last century. What she finds is a self-proclaimed witch, a girl who may or may not be a werewolf, an oddly quirky gardener, and a boy who doesn’t say much but has a strange obsession with Sarah. Oh, and the maze that leads to another world populated by those same people, but in a far different form. And an evil that is trying its very best to escape into our reality. Somehow, Sarah, the Normal Girl at the Highpennie School, is tied to all of the elements in this strange, enchanting, and very dangerous magical world.

I am still fleshing out characters, setting, and plotlines, so that may change as we go on. I am kind of excited by this and kind of apprehensive. New territory and all that, right? But you don’t grow as a writer without stretching out of the familiar sometimes. It’s going to be an interesting month, I think. Here’s hoping it is also a productive one!


Do you like science fiction and fantasy? I would be very happy if you would check out my books and other stories. You can find more information about them all at the link below. Thank you!

My Writing