NaNoWriMo 2016


I awoke this morning to find that the crazy storm that ripped through Melbourne last night knocked the neighbours’ conifer tree over, and it fell right through one of their cars before landing halfway across the fence. The State Emergency Service cleaned up most of it last night, but it wasn’t until I opened the curtains this morning that I realised the top quarter of the tree has taken up residence right on top of our landlords’ nicely landscaped garden. I’ve sent off the photos and emails to the agents who manage the property and am awaiting their advice. But I don’t want to spend the whole day anxiously ruminating and time is running out for my NaNo plans. Normally by October I want, at the very least, a vague plot for my NaNoWriMo story. I already have the Hallowe’en decorations out and no workable story yet. Hopefully the looming pressure of the self-imposed deadline will fire up my creative gears.


I woke up to find the top of the neighbours’ conifer tree on my lawn this morning. I guess I should look on the bright side – at least it didn’t come through my bedroom window. And the damage it caused them was far worse than a few massive branches landing on my lawn. [Photo taken by me on a Lumia 950xl Windows Phone.]

However, to my relief, when I fired up Scrivener for the first time in months (far too long!) it opened up my most recent project. So much has happened recently that I forgot that in April this year – before life turned to a series of other people’s dramas somehow affecting me – I had actually done a lot of work on a story idea. In some ways it’s a lot like my first three NaNoWriMo manuscripts, but with more interesting characters and more world building. So there’s that – though I had wanted to really take my time on that particular story, it may well prove suitable for a NaNo plot.

Here are some tentative ideas that I have so far:

  1. The story I started in March or April that I’d almost forgotten about. If there’s a genre for imaginative autobiography, with added ufos and extra-terrestrials, this would be it. It’s basically my first NaNoWriMo entry but with more fleshed out concepts. These were partly influenced by reading a book called Great Gippsland Mysteries by Grant Robinson which is unfortunately out of print (I read my local library’s copy) – it’s a supernatural history of the region surrounding my hometown [see references below], which has more than its fair share of uncanny events. Growing up in that area, strange, spooky and supernatural sightings seemed so common that my peers would casually reference ghosts and ufo sightings in conversations the same way they would comment on the weather.
  2. Some sort of ghost story or spooky gothic-horror in the vein of Irish writer Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873). To my great shame I had never read Sheridan Le Fanu until earlier this year. I had never even heard of him, except for a one-line reference in an Anne Rice novel if I recall correctly, until The Husband stumbled across the French metal band Year of No Light‘s incredible soundtrack that they imagined for a 1932 German-French silent film Vampyr. It was absolutely magnificent to watch and some kind soul on YouTube has taken the Year of No Light recording and matched it to the film. Intrigued by the film, I requested the library’s copy of Through A Glass Darkly, which contains Le Fanu’s short story Carmilla the novel that inspired Vampyr.
  3. A Star Wars: The Force Awakens fan fiction. Though I must say that as fun as this would be, I don’t think I would particularly enjoy it as a NaNoWriMo project.

That’s it. Ideally I’d have a couple more options in plot ideas, with loosely developed story directions and at least a few well-developed characters to work with. Still, there are a few weeks to go yet, so if life could just chill for a little bit I might actually get some real work done in the meantime!