If you don’t know from NaNo, here’s the basic idea. You. Your word processor. Maybe a bunch of other crazy people in your area. You have 30 days to write a complete novel of at least 50,000 words. You do that? You win. What do you win? Ummm… self respect? Maybe? Bragging rights for another year?
NaNo is an interesting thing. This will be my fifth year participating, and so far I’ve hit 50,000 and had a completed first draft each time, although how happy I was with it has varied. But my first year stands out, because I had a very clear idea of where the book was going to end, and it was a drive to get to that ending – that horrible, painful, perfect ending to what I’d written before where the hero has to sacrifice everything he’s ever wanted to protect what’s really important to him. I really stabbed that guy in the heart. But it was absolutely the right thing to do, leaving him on his knees in the middle of that battlefield outside the place he’s always known as home, having defeated the enemy that had come to destroy his family… by becoming the monster his mother always feared he would someday become, arms coated in the blood of his enemies, and hearing the screams of his mother come over the walls. Some day, I’ll re-work that bit of space opera / Shaw Bros. Kung-Fu madness and release it.
Probably next year.
But that’s not the important thing. The important thing is, I just got the ending of Crown of Exiles 2: Lamentations.
If I can pull this off, it’s going to make that first book’s ending look like cake and ice cream.