Saturday, 24 September 2016

NaNo is Coming!

I feel like I say this every year, but there is something about this time of the year. I always feel like the end of August/beginning of September heralds the beginning of the countdown to Christmas.

Christmas is my favourite time of year but there's lots of things that have to happen before Christmas can arrive.

And NaNoWriMo is just one of those things.

I began the month in a bit of a panic because I didn't have a story planned. I toyed around with revisiting previous NaNo attempts, or other stories I've been writing on and off for over a decade (I'm looking at you Behind the Scenes). But none of them really grabbed me.

And then I remembered an article I read on BBC News about how in China they have been using pig corneas for cornea transplants. And the cogs started to turn.

And that's how I found myself googling whether other pig organs could be used for transplants.

And that's how I decided that in my story pigs would be genetically modified to allow this to happen and my story would take place way in the future where this has become normal.

And of course we were building up to our hospital appointment this week and so my brain was in infertility zone, so naturally that is the direction it went in as I speculated about NaNo on my morning walks with Tara.

And I wondered if two-thirds of the population become unable to conceive, with a further three-quarters of those who can conceive unable to carry to term, then maybe the genetically modified pigs could be used for that.

And now I've decided I'll be writing a story following the first 'litter' of children born via these genetically modified pig surrogates.

And I'm writing it in a mix of articles, medical reports, interviews, and eyewitness accounts, which lends itself well to the NaNoWriMo format because I can pick and choose what I feel like writing each day.

Now I'm working on ironing out the kinks and I'm thinking that there might be an overarching story which is of some journalist (or amateur journalist) sometime after the whole pig organ scandal has calmed down and ceased to be used, piecing together information about the lives of the children who resulted from the 'litter'.

I'm almost certainly also going to follow one of the boys from the litter as well. So I just need to figure out who all my characters will be. I'm thinking once the NaNo boards are back after the wipe on the 3rd of October, I might just hang out on the Adopt a Character and Adopt a WriMo threads and pick people from there to use.

I've also recruited one of my friends to the NaNo cause. We spent a fair chunk of time on Friday with her tossing ideas at me for a basic plot. I'm excited for her idea so I hope she's able to join in.

And perhaps most exciting of all. This year I have internet access!

And I don't just mean a crappy mobile data signal on my phone, where I have to rest my phone on exactly the right spot of my armchair in order to get connected, and if the wind changes direction I'll lose the signal. Oh no, this is the real deal, baby!

This means that for the first time in forever I'll be able to really join in. I'm especially excited for the NaNo Chat Rooms where people from around the world gather. You always get a great flurry of activity at about half past the hour as people count down to the start in their time zone, then as the hour strikes it goes quiet as they all start. I used to hang out in MSN groups (back in the day) and count down for about five hours before it was my turn.

I'll be joining in Word Wars, Word Crawls (without having to save them all to my laptop while I'm at my in-laws' house), dares, challenges, the works.

And I've booked the 1st of November off.

When I told my Team Leader about my plans for the day (and the night, hello midnight start) she said it sounded like a religious holiday. And she's not wrong, it's almost as exciting as Christmas!

Do you NaNo? Are you taking part this year? How's the planning going?


  1. I was hoping to take part in NaNo this year, but I'm not sure. I have so many other things going on, and I'm still doing ridiculous hours at work. It's not looking good!
    I love your story idea, it's so unique! Good luck with the planning :)

    1. Almost every year I say I don't think I'll be able to do NaNo and then invariably it sneaks in anyway. If you don't get to do it in November, there's nothing stopping you giving it a go later in the year when you have free time. ;-)

      And thank you. Each day I come up with another little bit to it. I really need to sit down and write out some concrete notes.


Let me know what you think. :-)