Life has been intruding a lot lately, the way it always does when you’re not paying it any attention. I’ve been guilty of starting several projects at once and not finishing any of them. I want to finish them, I just lack the focus. I believe I have discovered a way to fix that.
November is National Novel Writer’s Month, NaNoWriMo for short. Check out the link for the low down. The short version is: 30 days, 50,000 words, a lifetime of therapy. Well, perhaps not the last part. I attempted NaNoWriMo two years ago and did not succeed. Of course, I didn’t have a plan. Now, I have what resembles, on a dark night, in the rain, and fog, a plan: Project Mjölnir.
A big part of Project Mjölnir is NaNoWriMo & finishing a novel. I seem to have a particularly hard accomplishing that. I have a Steampunk novel languishing, half completed because I can’t seem to get past the distractions, so this time I’m not going to try, I’m incorporating them.
Project Mjölnir is a six month effort for me to write a novel, edit it, and finally podcast it, right here on this tiny blog. I’m using it to jump start that creative part of myself that I’ve allowed the demands of living to strangle. Enough maudlin meanderings, let’s get to the *plan*.
Not too long ago, a good friend of mine, Davey Jones, (no, not the captain & no, not the Monkey) and I created a shared universe that we were going to populate and develop collaboratively. It was a good idea that wound up crushed by reality. Meanwhile, I have all these notes and no story. Cue NaNo.
Great, so why call it Project Mjölnir? Well one; there is a Project Mjölnir in the notes that winds up being central to the plot and two; I think it’s a really cool name. Also, this is starting with NaNo, but November 30th will not be the end of this project. That’s what got me into trouble two years ago. No, the goal this time is to blog about my serialized podcast experience from conception, during this year’s NaNo, to delivery of the audio book, The Hierarchy of Dominance sometime in April 2012.
Along the way, I’ll post tidbits of back story, research and musings about this process. And family stuff. And tweets. Actually, a bunch of stuff.
Why am I doing this, you may ask? My family is a dojo family. We go to karate and after four years, my takeaway from the experience is that old saw, “practice makes perfect”. I’ve gotten better because I do it a lot. Muscle memory and the ability to react without thinking about it.
When I was doing voice work for radio and TV, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the more you were on the air, the better you got. There is a natural rhythm and flow to working with a microphone. Plus, it’s a rush!
And when I write, the more often I do it, the easier it gets. Whether or not it gets better I’ll leave as an exercise to the reader.
Project Mjölnir is a multifaceted exercise: a story, a blog and a podcast. What will I get out of it? The goal is structured writing habits and the creative spark to finish my Steampunk novel. Okay, that’s the project, what’s the story?
I’m classifying it as fan fiction, military science, fan fiction, mind you, but fan fiction nonetheless. Davey and I borrowed stuff from many sources. We have the Mnoren & Cidri from The Fantasy Trip, elements from MechWarrior, tech from Ogre, GEV & Battlesuit from Steve Jackson games, ships and tech from AMT’s Strategic Space Command universe, including Leif Ericson class galactic cruisers and species & characters from Mattel’s Major Matt Mason line of action figures.
I want to be careful to acknowledge the copyright holders of the products and services I have taken inspiration from, so I’m keeping a list.
I’ve written a synopsis as an exercise for NaNo. I’ll see about getting it posted in the next couple of days. No, I haven’t copied existing story lines, but I did use published material to help develop timelines, back story elements, plot devices and so on; some of which you’ll get to see right here. So, stay tuned!
Finally, here’s my pitch; the National Novel Writers Month is a marathon and like a marathon runner, I am seeking sponsors to help me raise $2500 dollars for adult and children’s writing programs in areas where there may not be any. It’s for a good cause and it’s tax deductable.