Historically, NaNoWriMo has not been my friend. Partly because I’m a terrible person and never write outlines for anything, partly because there’s always something to get in the way of writing in November, like school, or travelling. Mostly though, I think it’s because I usually write the way I travel; not entirely sure where I’m going, but enjoying the scenery while I get there.
So I decided to do something different this year. Instead of trying to come up with enough time and brain focus to flesh out one of the many fledgling novels constantly banging around in my head, I’m concentrating on the editing and rewriting process for my brainchild, a manuscript with the working title, Army of Outlaws.
The idea for this story came to me over ten years ago. At first it was simple; a race of tree-dwelling people, known as Leehus, get abducted and imprisoned by a nameless enemy, and it is up to Oakleaf, the last free Leehu, to rescue her people. From there it just got more and more complicated. I chipped away at this idea for years, finally ending up with a four hundred-some page Word document mid way through my Freshman year of college.
Most people probably would have scrapped the whole kit and kaboodle ages ago. The writing was awful. Most of the plot twists were woefully transparent, if they even made sense.
I’m not most people. I can’t give up on characters I’ve known longer than most of my closest friends.
So I’ve devoted this year, and especially the month of November, to the butchery that is the rewrite. Maybe I can’t realize the potential this story and these characters have. Maybe my ambition exceeds my ability.
But no one will ever know unless I try.