So it seems that NaNo is right around the corner. Hurm. I was going to pretty much pass on NaNo this year, as I never seem to really get much out of it. It’s fun, but at the end of the month I end up with nothing that’s actually useful. I’m starting to think the whole exercise is maybe not the great idea that everyone thinks it is. I think for some people it encourages a kind of “wait until November and do it then” mentality that is counterproductive. Either way, by the end of the month you’re likely so sick of whatever it is you just pounded out that you don’t ever want to look at it again.
However, I think I may take advantage of the extra write-ins and the spirit of productivity that NaNo creates to work on expanding my Chuck Chaykin story into a novel. It’s already over 8,000 words, which is a little long to sell to a short story market anyway, and could easily be expanded. It’s the kind of story in which a publisher like Baen or Tor might be interested.
The trick will be weaving the two characters together. Chaykin is a rough and bitter mercenary, albeit one who is a bit of a softy deep down. His sidekick, Val, is a teenage orphan girl raised in a prep school for psychics. They have certain shared experiences that bring them together, and I know there’s a fun chemistry between the two, but their stories before they meet are so vastly different that it may be difficult to easily switch between the two plots. Or should I skip her story and not introduce her until they meet? I don’t want to shortchange her, but I’m afraid it would seem like two completely different books crammed together.
I’ll have to do a little world (or universe, rather) building. I have a general idea of how the setting works, but I haven’t worked out specifics.
More importantly, I’ll need to design the ship. In any setting where the heroes spend their time mostly aboard some sort of vessel instead of a particular city or planet, the ship becomes not just the setting but a character unto herself. I’ll need to work out how big Chaykin’s ship is, how many rooms, how it’s laid out, etc. The ship isn’t really featured much in the short story, so I didn’t have to worry about it before. Heck, I had a hard time even coming up with a name.
At any rate, you get the idea. I’ll probably spend the next few weeks working on these issues and if I can come up with a decent working outline I may go for it. I don’t know if I’ll go for the insane NaNo pace, but with a little energon and a lot of luck I’ll get a significant amount of work done.