First up, I know I've abandoned my blog. Just insanely busy. I will try to update soon. In the meantime, here are a few things I learned from doing Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month extravaganza.
1) One really can't write a novel on the side when trying to write a dissertation. Even if all your cool friends are doing it.
2) I'm not really a Nanowrimo personality in that I don't see any point of writing all willy-nilly. I'm not a serious planner in my writing. I will "outline" but the outline is a bare sketch of notes about a page long. Then I sit down to write, see what I come up with, and then perhaps sketch some more notes. In short, I plan just enough to write a few pages and that's it. But I really do want to think about what I'm going to write. If I'm going to write a story of a migrant family fixing wind turbines in 2150, which was the setting, I'm going to read about wind turbines. I can't just skip that in order to get some word count up.
3) I really, really liked writing my 3,000 words of mediocre stuff, reading it to B, and seeing that he enjoyed it. I think I could have a children's novel voice. However, I don't have that voice yet. The stuff I wrote on Day 2 sounded very different than the stuff I wrote on Day 1.
4) When I say I could write a children's novel, I really don't have in mind the current publication genres. Instead, I'm writing the stuff I remember loving as an 8-year-old. The stuff filed in the classic section for kids at B&N. Narnia, Kidnapped, 20,000 Leagues under the sea, etc. Does that stuff even have a genre anymore? It's too adult in language compared to today's middle grade, but it's also supposed to be enjoyable for 9-year-olds. Of course, if I really do write this for publication, I will have to find a way to make my interests fit with business interests.
5) Overall, the experience was good in that, while I only wrote about 3,000 words, that's 3,000 words more than I wrote in any other month of 2009.
6) I still like my idea. A girl and her family travel around the countryside fixing the tens of thousands of wind turbines that power the world she has no chance to participate in, mostly power for The Dop, the amazing transportation system that can take you anywhere in the world in an hour. Of course, one day she steps on one of those "trains". She also learns to fly with the help of a Hawaiian boy and saves her family's livelihood. Now, if I can just get my career out of the way, I'll "write it up".