It seems like every year I do NaNo, I do something completely different than the last.
My first NaNo run consisted of 1,667 words. I just never could manage to get myself to write anything beyond that. The problem stemmed from the fact that I used a comic idea I had my freshman year of college and attempted to turn it into a novel. The whole concept and idea behind it, had long faded from my mind the inspiration and plot were devoid of anything beyond a few bad tech jokes.
My first successful year, which was the following year, I wrote a murder mystery satire which just barely managed to hit 50,000 words. The setting was my college, the characters were my friends and the inspiration relied heavily on things that were happening at the time. It’s a novel I want to go back to someday and see if there is something worth recovering in it.
The third year I wrote 140,000 words of complete and utter crap. I had to characters that were writers. They were married and both writing NaNo novels and competing against each other. Snippets of both their novels appeared often. It was my plot bunny year in which so many ideas kept coming to the forefront that I just did them all. It was, in short, a disaster.
The next year I can’t even remember how much I wrote, but I didn’t finish and I didn’t write much beyond the first week. I had some very vague ideas for a fantasy novel that didn’t have any plot and some of the characters were from a fantasy race that I wasn’t that enamored with (ogres…).
I completely forgot about NaNo in 2007 and almost missed it in 2008. I spent the last two weeks of the month hammering out my first full on attempt at a fantasy novel during November. I’d written lots of bits and pieces in high school and college, but I’d never gotten past 10,000 words on any of those. I was extremely happy and pleased with the results. So pleased that I actually started writing down plot ideas for future books in the same series.
Then last year, I not only attempted to write the sequel to the fantasy novel, but I wrote a YA contemporary piece about divorce and a wrote a few snippets of a YA urban fantasy. I ended up with around 98,000 words, with the contemporary YA being the only one that was actually finished and crested over the 50k mark.
This year I’m going to write a historical, possibly gothic horror or dark fantasy novel that deals with werewolves. I’m not entirely sure yet what exactly all the novel will involve, but I’ve been slowing make notes and doing research on a specific area and time where I’m setting the novel. I’m hoping to have a very rough outline by the end of October and if I do, it’ll only be the second time I’ve ever done an outline for NaNo (my contemporary YA being the other).
I’ve also got a few short story ideas floating around to write when I need a break from my NaNo novel. Most of them dealing with the fantasy world I’ve been creating over the last few years in my NaNo novels.