a while ago sometime i received a lone email from the nanowrimo staff. national novel writing month? but it's august, why should i worry about november now! because, dear soul, while you cannot start writing prose before nov 1, you may have an outline. and this year, i intend to enter nanowrimo prepared.
ok, ok, so last year i wrote just over 2500 words. out of a goal of 50000. but i did get a neat poem out of it, proof that i'll write poetry whenever im actively trying to NOT write something else (see also: senior year of college - i wrote an epic poem, and got a D in my chinese history course). but none of that is a reason not to try again!
before i get an outline i need two very basic things: a main character and a conflict. i forget where i read/heard this suggestion, but ive been thinking about characters and then putting them in the last place theyd want to be. and thats a struggle for me, because i think of a conflict and then i think of the quickest, least interesting way to resolve. its like im conflict adverse or something. go figure.
but really, the hard part will be choosing a conflict that is rich enough to sustain 50,000 words. it should have layers, like an ogre. and intrigue. same with the main character, though in all honesty, the main character will prolly resemble myself since i have absolutely no insight into how another person would handle a complex conflict in 50,000 words. and that's ok, no one needs to buy this i just want to write it. but what situation would i least like to find myself in that wont make a huge downer of a novel?
another option is to write an extended memoir type thing of my two years in new mexico. plenty of conflict in that story. hey, maybe it could even be like the rural version of Academy X. or it could be on becoming a teacher: do we teach as we are taught? the conflict is my transition from student to teacher peppered with vignettes from my own education. this may have some promise, though it may fall outside the nanowrimo definition of novel as "a lengthy work of fiction" depending on how the memoir is structured, flows, is fictionalized, etc.