NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge to authors to get off their feet and onto their butts and write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.
The challange started small, grew, and became international. International or not, since almost everyone shortens the name to NaNoWriMo, it looks like they’re stuck with the, now inappropriately localized, ‘National’ part of the name.
I won NaNoWriMo in 2009 and that project turned into my novel, Gladiator Girl. Winning NaNo (an even shorter, common abbreviation of the name) is not an accurate statement, although, that’s the official term. As I said, it’s not a contest; it’s a challenge. You either complete the challenge or not. Even if you don’t complete it, the effort can be rewarding, and useful for getting a stubborn novel project going.
But winning is exciting, and this year I won. Yeah me! (Fist pump! Don’t spill that coffee!)
I’m sure some people, remarkably well organized people, win with a good, clean first draft. Not me. I finish with a jumble: a collection of notes, character sketches, some roughed out scenes, and discontinuous runs of dialogue. It’s after NaNo—that is to say, now—that I get to begin shaping that jumble into a coherent story.
The project has a working title: “Tilt World”. This won’t be the final title. It’s too dull, and there’s a casual video game with that name. I’d love to call it, “The Beautiful and the Sublime”, but Bruce Sterling used that title for a novelette I fondly remember reading years ago.
Whatever the title turns out to be, here’s the prologue. This is a first draft, so there are a few provisos: If you read it, expect that it will change before the novel is finished—it could even be cut in it’s entirety. However, I am not cutting anything yet; any idea that presented itself for the prologue is here. In other words, it’s still a bit messy and full of itself. What do you think?