Around nine years ago my alter ego wrote a novel. A real 120,000 word monster, written just to see if it could be done. You won’t have read it. Only a few have and I’ve been apologising to them both ever since. I even feel sorry for the drawer it currently rests in. And so was scratched my brief (but fun) writing itch.
But now the itch has returned, and I don’t think a bath of camomile lotion is going to do the trick this time.
Often a writer is born through the stuff they read. Some plough through a bad book, hating every page and resolving to write something better. Others read a great book fizzing with energy and ideas, and BOOM! Suddenly they have a burning desire to get that silly story that’s been floating around their heads onto paper.
For me it was “Q” by Luther Blissett (or Wu Ming, these days), which, strangely enough, was a book that I had bought eight or nine years ago only for it to remain unread on my shelf until this summer. Who’d have thought a rip-snorting novel set in Reformation-era Europe would spawn an idea for a short sci-fi story? (Again, you won’t have seen it. Funny story about that. I’ll have to post something about it some time.)
It’s the start of something, or in my case a restart. One short story idea is followed by a couple more. Dreams start chipping in a few ideas too. And then, quite unexpectedly, you get THE idea. The big one. The one that leads to sleepless nights because your brain just won’t shut up about it. The one that has you frantically typing an 11,000 word plot outline in two days before you forget it all.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I’ve had what I deem to be THE idea. My one half-decent shot at writing something good; good enough perhaps to be read by others without apologising for it afterwards. (Something that I’m astonished hasn’t been done before, or not to my knowledge.)
Hence this blog, this domain name, this pseudonym, that Facebook page, that Twitter account, and so on and so forth. Sometimes you just feel that you’ve got to give it a shot. Write the damn thing. Put it out there and be judged by it. (Even if it is behind a pseudonym.)
So come NaNoWriMo I’ll turn my 11,000 word outline into a 50,000+ word novel. You might even see me slaving away at one of the Norwich write-ins. Then I’ll knock out a second draft, then I’ll have it properly proof-read, and then finally, after all that slog, after annoying everyone I know with THE idea, I’ll put it out there. On Kindle, through Smashwords, via every channel I can find.
So that’s the gauntlet slapped down. As I finish my inaugural post on this blog my deadline for publishing <Title withheld> is exactly one year from today: Friday 13th September 2013.
I’ll let you know how I get on.