NaNo and Life Blocks

I’m heading out to the World Fantasy convention down in San Jose, California in…less than an hour…but I thought I’d drop a note about NaNo since it starts while I’m down there.

This year is the first in a long while that I decided to do NaNo several months ahead of time. Normally, I say I’m not going to do it then jump in at the last moment, praising Lazette Gifford left and right for convincing me to keep a couple of outlines on hand.

Oddly, it’s also the year where I may be the least prepared since my first NaNo in 2003 when I wrote Shafter. I had a number of possible projects, all in various stages of preparation, but have chosen to do none of them.

I took a good look at what has happened since I fell sick about two years ago, and realized I’d abandoned a novel. I started Karth’s Story for the March Madness challenge on Forward Motion, and never touched it again. Now if the story no longer appealed to me, if I didn’t ever think about Karth and his unknown daughter, if visions of the not-quite-alive forest didn’t tease, I’d say the flaw was in the story.

However, it bugs me that I didn’t finish the novel. I’m enough of a goal-oriented perfectionist to want to finish everything I write, so that could have been the cause. But there’s a big difference between the few short stories and novels that remain unfinished because I can hardly recall their story lines, and being haunted.

So I’ve decided to accept that Karth’s Story, along with the rest of me, fell victim to a Life Block. Not a writer’s block where the fault lies in the tale or the telling of same, but a life block where something external, uncontrollable, act of Godish, happened to prevent this tale from coming to life. When I got over the life block, instead of looking back at the abandoned bones of a novel discarded, I surged forward on to new vistas in the forms of Coma Wedding and Molly, leaving Karth a faint ghost to haunt me.

No more. I am scrapping the less than 10k I managed to squeeze out of my overloaded, heavily medicated brain, and starting anew. As of November 1st, Karth’s Story gets another shot at the limelight, another chance to draw you into a world where an adventurer’s retirement is really denial of troubles left unsolved…mysteries that have a habit of growing ever more complex once out of sight. Whether I reach the end in 50k, finish all 85k or so expected for the first draft, or just get a solid start, this time Karth will not be abandoned on the very doorstep of his greatest adventure yet.

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