NaNoWriMo! A New Project and 30-Day Writing Experiment

Posted on: 31st Oct 2012  /   Categorized: Writing Life

It’s almost heeeere!!


National Novel Writing Month kicks off tomorrow, as many of you are well aware. Whether you’re participating this year or cheering the rest of us on from the sidelines, I hope your November has great things in store!


As I’ve been teasing for a couple months now, I will be working on a Brand New Secret Project during November, and I’m going to try and knock out the complete first draft. Which, true to form, will probably be closer to 70K or 80K words than the requisite 50K.


Good. It’s been a while since I really pushed myself. ^_^


You can friend me on under the username aliblade22. Also, keep your eyes out for my NaNo pep talk, hitting an inbox near you some time this month!




As I’ve been sworn to secrecy and can’t tell you what my new project is actually about, I’m going to tease you with very vague hints about it instead.


Genre: YA Fantasy


Related Adjectives: Romantic, Tragic, Nostalgic, Whimsical, Absurd


Things I have researched in preparation: Court jesters, Victorian etiquette, card flourishers, slight-of-hand magic tricks, Tudor revival architecture, nursery rhymes, hedge mazes, nobility, lady’s maids, pumpkin patches, turtle soup


Hero’s name: Jest


Heroine’s name: Lady Rosana Cordula


(Names obviously subject to change.)


How long this idea has been in my head: Almost 2 years.


What I’m most excited about: Jest! In my head, he’s crazy hot. I hope I can accurately capture that.


What I’m most nervous about: The world-building. Unlike the Lunar Chronicles, in which everything is based on science, technology, and relatively plausible politics, the world I’m creating for this new project is fantastical and ridiculous and frequently defies the laws of physics. It’s going to be a challenge for me to not be constantly questioning, “But how is that even possible?” It’s not possible—that’s kind of the point.


When I’ll be able to tell you concrete details: Hopefully January or February. Which is ridiculously soon!





In addition to working on my first non-Lunar Chronicles novel, I’m trying a fun new writing experiment this month.


A while back, I asked blog readers to tell me about some of the coolest and strangest places they’ve ever spent time writing.


Using those ideas and my own imagination, I am going to attempt to write in 30 different locations this November and, of course, blog about it.


I’ll be recording how long I write there, how comfortable it is, how many words I add to the WIP, whether or not I would write there again, and other general thoughts on what makes a good writing location.


As I’ll be at the Vegas Valley Book Festival for the first three days of the month, my first post may be a little delayed, but otherwise I am going to try and post about my experiences every day… more or less


So… who out there is NaNoing with me? Feel free to share some tidbits about your novel in the comments!


  1. Loie commented on:

    Ah! Your new project sounds SO interesting 😉 HAHA Jest ow ow !

    Am excited to begin tomorrow – have butterflies. I’ve been sort of brainstorming about an idea for a few months now and I feel so ready to dive into the story.

    Neat experiment!! Sounds fun! Maybe I’ll try out a few different spots too!
    Loie xo

  2. Colin commented on:

    Sounds like an exciting project, Marissa–one I look forward to reading in the not-too-distant future (I hope!). I’ll be NaNo-ing with you this year. It’ll be my first time. And I”ve buddied you so I can watch your word count grow and, hopefully, be encouraged–and perhaps a little awestruck. 🙂

    All the very best to you! 😀

  3. Morgan commented on:

    Ooh I love the sound of your secret NaNo project! Fantasy and absurdity, makes me think of Alice in Wonderland and the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. Can’t wait to read it!

    This is my first year doing NaNo, I’m excited and a bit scared. I’m writing a YA contemporary book with hints of the historical and paranormal. It centers around a girl in high school who has a nice life but has never been brave enough to try new things. Her friends convince her to hold a seance on Halloween and after that, people start turning up dead in her small New England town. When her crush disappears, she has to find the courage to track down the murderer and save Jack. Part of the story has to do with the first person ever executed for witchcraft in the American colonies. I’d say it has influences from Hocus Pocus, a couple Vampire Diaries episodes, The Name of the Star, and Born Wicked.

    I normally write fantasy or fairy tale type stories, so I wanted to try something different for NaNo. I do love the fall and this spooky time of year! Good luck with your story, I’m excited to watch your project grow and be inspired in the process 🙂 P.S…. Can’t wait for Scarlet!!

  4. Christy (MageRaven in Nanoland) commented on:

    I’m super excited about your secret, new project! It sounds like a lot of fun.

    I’m writing what I like to call YA Space Magic. A little science, a little fantasy, and (hopefully) a whole lot of action*.

    *a lot of which will be between my MC, Astrid, and Hotness Himself, Salem.

  5. Secretly_Samus (or Starling_Sinclair in Nanoland) commented on:

    I’m so glad to see you Nanoing again! You introduced me to it many years ago. Now I’m writing for my 4th year, and ML-ing for my 2nd.

    This year I’m writing an indirect sequel to my 1st Nano-novel. Same world, new characters and story (with a breif overlap) that’s going to be a Steampunk retelling of Beauty and the Beast. And it will involve airships. That is all I know.

    Good luck! I’m really excited to see this experiment!

  6. Aisazia (same in Nanoland) commented on:

    Nice! Sounds like a fun, crazy, interesting story! Can’t wait to see how it turns out! 😀 Oh I love the idea of blogging about the different places you’re gonna nano at. 😀

  7. Leigh Smith commented on:

    Yay! I’m so excited you’re doing this! This is my 3rd year and hopefully, for the first time, I’ll win. I’ve been more excited about NaNo the last couple of months than just about anything else.
    My novel is Ya Urban Fantasy with lots of swoon. Super stoked.

  8. Bonnie @ A Backwards Story commented on:

    I don’t know where my comment went, lol! I’m so excited for your new project and can’t wait to hear more! Is this what you considered doing last NaNo?

    30 places to write sounds awesome; go being a full-time writer!

    I’m in it with you this year, and also doing fantasy and world-building. Eep! Have you seen this website for world-building? Very helpful:

  9. Photina commented on:

    Your new project sounds interesting! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

    Good luck and have fun to all those doing NaNoWriMo!

  10. Sophia Hopper commented on:

    I am not much of a writer and i dont think i would ever be able to write something more then like 20 pages long.(although, that might have something to do with the fact i am 13… ) but i CANT WAIT to read your new thingy-ma-doodle and i REALLY CANT WAIT FOR SCARLET!!!!!!!!! and my BFF Edie and my sister Sabine (and possibly my step sister Nini) are going to enter the Cinder costume contest soon!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Amy commented on:

    Ahh yay! I added you on NaNoWriMo (I’m Serenity). Excited to see you doing NaNoWriMo again… and to be able to watch your word count grow. I need to do some catching up on my own… This is the first year I don’t have awful soul-sucking final exams waiting for me in November so I hope to actually win for once.

    This year is my first year doing sci-fi. My novel takes place in the near future where the convergence of two technological breakthroughs have happened– the rise of Big Data and nanotechnology. With an explosion of data companies have gotten very precise at targeted marketing and getting people to buy stuff– which means they have to keep a tight hold on their brands and the people associated with them. When nanotechnology for human body repair and monitoring moves from the military sphere to the civilian market, some of the first adopters are large entertainment agencies that use it to monitor and control their models and actresses to make sure their bodies stay young and their actions don’t cause any PR messes. My MC, an engineer who monitors and fixes a “portfolio” of models at the largest entertainment agency in the US, is unhappy with her job– not because of the ethical considerations, but because she’s been passed up for promotion and finds it boring to use technology that was supposed to be saving soldiers’ lives just to monitor party-prone 18 year old glamazons. So she begins to hack the technology she’s running, but soon has bigger issues– her agency is undergoing a hostile takeover from a foreign multinational corporation… just how hostile becomes apparent later on, when she learns they’re a front for a foreign government to try to take power.

    Apparently I need to work on my summary as much as the novel. 😉 It’s long winded and all, but that’s the general idea…

  12. JessDay commented on:

    I’ve been a Nanowrimo YWP participant every year since the seventh grade. Still, you’re my inspiration to push through and finish my draft of my first book in my trilo-saga-ogy this November! Watch out wordcount, here I come!!

  13. Madam Peregrine commented on:

    This is my first NaNo that I’m writing something new too. Last year I finished my first trilogy and am working on fixing it (off and on). But now I’m super excited to continue writing my new novel this November. I’m reaching for 80K this month. I’ve been waiting all year to write this novel!

    For the last three years, I wrote science fiction so now I’m finally writing flat out fantasy again (which is my preference).

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