For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo stands for "National Novel Writing Month." To participate, the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. You can do it on your own, obviously, but you can also sign up for a free account at http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and get involved with a community of writers who will encourage you and discuss their own works-in-progress. In addition, the site offers a word count verifier so you can track your progress. You don't really get anything if you "win," except to say you did it. But it's a worthwhile pursuit for a writer, especially one trying to build their chops.
I got started a bit late this year, because of school and working to complete Charlie Morning and Mr. Night, but now that the manuscript is finished, I found myself free to start something new.
Usually I need some time to re-collect myself after finishing a story, novel, whatever, but I have made excuses for the past three years why I couldn't start (or in last year's case, successfully finish) NaNoWriMo, and I wasn't having it this year.
So I have now begun my third novel. This one is an expansion of an idea I had for a sword-and-sorcery fantasy world a couple years ago. I wrote a story called "Apotheosis," which is about a very human warrior named Wotan from the north, and a queen of the southern desert kingdoms named Isis, who also happens to be a sorceress. Anyone familiar with mythology knows where this is going.
The catch is that they are questing together in a world 1,000 years after the stars went wrong and put the Great Old Ones into their eternal slumber. So I'm mixing mythology with Howardian swords-and-sorcery with Lovecraftian horror. We'll see how it works out. I have a definite goal in mind (and the title, "Apotheosis," should give a hint at that). I have developed an entire world in which the story will take place, and have an essay about the state of affairs, which will doubtless grow as I fill in more details.
I'm curious to see if I can pull this off, especially given how much bog-standard fantasy is on the shelves these days.
We shall see, but I'm rather excited about the beginning.