This week, I thought I would write not just about Nanowrimo, but what I’ve been doing more generally writing-wise as well, mostly because my Nano project is coming along as planned.
Last week, on Friday, I attended a really interesting panel, Imagined (Lunar) Communities: Hope, Habitation, and Humanity, moderated by Smaran Dayal with Manish Melwani, Malka Older, and Fabio Fernandes. The structure was particularly notable, the panelists had received a prompt and each wrote a short piece about an imagined lunar habitat that they read. Then the discussion that followed incorporated aspects of what they had written, how they had approached the subject, etc. (A more detailed description is avialable on the Eventbrite page (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/imagined-lunar-communities-hope-habitation-and-humanity-tickets-198083662567), click details.)
Throughout the week I worked more on my “maybe it’s a long short story/maybe it’s a short novellette”, Dispersed. The word count has been bouncing around between about 7200 and 8000 as I work on it. But I’ve also addressed what I (and others in workshop) had identified as problem areas. In particular, there were a few weak spots nagging at me that required more explanation, a few new scenes, a change of gender for one character, and one whole new character.
I’m pleased with how it is progressing. I’m hopeful I’ll have it ready for submission in mid-December.
Nanowrimo-wise, I completed the outlines for the four novellas (or novel parts or whatever they are). They came together widly easily, I think because of all the previous work I’ve done on this world.
I also did some worldbuilding/brainstorming on various areas: general and some more specific thoughts on characters (including issues around who leaves Earth on the ship), what Earth is like at the beginning of the story, day to day life on the ship, and ideas around colonization/exploration/adventure in the context of the story world.
Additionally, I reviewed the stories I was working on earlier in the month and extracted those story ideas that might work as stories separate from this story world/universe/whatever we might call it.
And I also started putting together a review of what I’ve done writing-wise in the past year and plans for next year. I’ll post those here in the next couple of weeks.
What I’m reading, listening to, and watching
I’ve been watching The Handmaid’s Tale (finally). It has been a long time since I read the book, but I’m enjoying the series quite a lot. I like that so many of the characters are given solid backstories in the form of flashbacks.
And I do appreciate watching something that already has several seasons (looking at you, Squid Game, with your nine measly episodes).
I’m reading Jeff VanderMeer’s Hummingbird Salamander very slowly, but it is really interesting and the writing is just so wonderful. (The slowness is totally on me and general tiredness.)
And I started listening to the audiobook of Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest book, The Ministry of the Future, after hearing multiple people (in different contexts) recommend Kim Stanley Robinson in the last week. I have read some of Robinson’s past work (like the Mars trilogy), but it’s been a while. I enjoy the broad scope approach that Robinson takes (different points of view in different locations; lots of ‘this is how the world is’ explanation). It wouldn’t work in all cases, but it really grounds the story in a very relatable world.
That’s all for now.