Less than a week now and I’m ready to go. Unlike last year, when I went in still not certain about whether I wanted to do this marathon again, I’m feeling that pre-NaNo itch.
I combined two stories and reduced the number that I’ll be concentrating on to six, with a few more waiting in the wings if I need to do some filling out. I don’t think that’s a problem, though, since one of the stories was originally intended to be a novel. What the collection might wind up with is a couple of novellas flanked by shorter stories.
I’m still jotting down a note here and there, but mostly concentrating now on non-NaNo writing and research. I also made the decision to “sell out” and slant a short novel toward the commercial side. Yes, hoping for a little more money than my usual work will ever bring in. It’s been hanging around for over a year and I almost abandoned it once, but started working on it again recently. One reason I let it drop was because I couldn’t decide whether the relationship between the two protagonists would develop into a romance. I don’t really do romance, as any reader of Hidden Boundaries knows. At least not the kind of highly sexualized romance that’s popular. And this story has enough echoes of Hidden Boundaries that I felt I was in danger of repeating myself.
I read a fair number of book reviews, and critical articles about authors, usually writers who are well-established. What I’d never thought about until quite recently is that many authors have themes that they keep developing throughout their careers. Which, and this should have been more obvious to me, is what keeps bringing the same readers back to their work.
With that in mind, I looked back over what I’ve written so far, and yes, there’s a definite theme. The most obvious one is slavery, but under that is the theme of oppression and powerlessness. I want to get away from the explicit slavery and move more toward the oppression and powerlessness. The “commercial” novel is a move in that direction, plus a restrained male/male romance in my usual character-driven style.
My timing for anything usually stinks, but this may actually be accidental good timing. Maybe it can compensate for Set Me Free, which will probably sink like a stone.