And now the panic sets in…

Well, now that I’ve announced my plan to do NaNoWriMo, the same panic I experienced last year has come upon me. I thought I had a reasonable story idea, but now that I’m sitting with it, I just don’t feel very inspired by it. And the worst part is, I’ve been working on shorts for these last several months, so I don’t really have any 50k length story ideas floating around in my brain.

What is your plan for coming up with a “novel” novel idea?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathan Lewis
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 16:05:13

    You guys all had such terrific suggestions…I decided to pull out my story that I had thought about doing last year, that I decided not to do then because the story was complex. But I have thought about it over the year, and even did some research, etc., in the Spring on it. So really, it’s my best option for actually reaching the 50k mark.

    So I’m almost ready to go…


  2. Natasha
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 21:43:09

    The daily news always turns up better ideas than anything I can dream up to just get things started, like Dayner wrote.

    I think that many novels are a bunch of short stories woven together, so maybe you could think of it that way — does writing three or four short stories with intersecting characters feel less intimidating?


  3. darksculptures
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 14:55:10

    Great! I’m in spam again! I promise I didn’t use any naughty words.


  4. darksculptures
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 14:54:36

    You know I could suggest a thousand and one things for you to write about, but I don’t think that is what you need. (Forgive me for makng assumptions.) However, speaking from experience, I understand that a prompt only works if it sparks a fire. You have to dig around inside yourself to find an idea that turns into something fantastic.

    So my suggestion is simply this: Scan Scan Scan everything until you return with something you are passionate about and that is where you will find your “novel” idea. Passion is the driving force behind a successful model – both in writing and life.

    I’ll let you in on a secret – ssshhhhh don’t tell anyone – I have a backup plan too! You know, just in case what I had planned to write doesn’t want to cooperate.


  5. dayner
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:41:28

    I searched the news stories for something to inspire me. My idea came from an abandoned baby. I’ve always wonder what it would be like to find out later in life that you started out as an unwanted child. What does it take for a mother to leave her newborn in a dumpster? And how does that child feel about it as an adult? Especially if you had no idea growing up.
    This is the basis for my story.
    I think about that first test tube baby born in 1978. What is his life like now at 32? Does he know about his notoriety? BTW: he was born the same day as my younger brother.

    Think about a ‘what if’. What are the ‘what ifs’ in Kathan’s life? What if you had never met your husband? What if you married your high school crush? How would your life be different if your decisions had been different? What if you had lost your mother instead of your father? Would you be a different person because of it?
    Read the newspaper and try to put yourself in someone else shoes.
    These are my suggestions.


  6. Shaddy
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:08:20

    I know, I know. If I let myself think about November 1st and beyond, I get somewhat ill-feeling myself. So, I just don’t think about it. As you know, I’m not a planner. I’ll fly by the seat of my pants for the month.

    Since I don’t care much about the quality or subject of my writing during the NNWM challenge, I can afford to be care and fancy-free.

    I know, I know. I’m no help to you whatsoever. Hopefully, another reader will offer you some constructive ideas.

    (You’re free to call anything you write “a novel.” I read that on the NNWM site just the other day.)

    Perhaps you could write a number of chapters giving the background of several women. The final chapters could detail how their paths crossed and how they bonded.


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