A couple of years ago, I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which, when I first heard about it years before trying it, was only just starting to become A Thing. Now it is most definitely A Thing, with all sorts of spin-offs and versions, but the one I’m talking about is the original Thing, which is that you write a previously unstarted novel of 50,000 words or more, in its unedited entirety, in the month of November.

I discovered the existence of this mass project in 2003, but could never quite imagine how I would ever have time for something like that until 2009, at which point I decided I was going to just do it, as they say. Well, I got up to 50,000 words, but it certainly couldn’t qualify as a novel, nor really as writing–certainly not good writing–although I did have some interesting theological insights through the process, which I still think are sort of cool so maybe I’ll reblog them from my old blog here sometime. Or you can go on a treasure hunt yourself and try to find them.

Anyway, just like in 2009, I still have two stalled novels (one of which I almost forgot about, the other of which is Favored One which keeps getting regularly turned down by literary agents everywhere) and no new novel ideas. I mean, none. But the regular round of guilt at being a basically non-practicing Writer has hit again, and, just like in 2009, I’m going to be taking grad school courses in January but am not doing so now, so guess what? I just signed up to write a 50,000 word novel once again.

I probably should’ve discussed this with my Paul, first, but maybe this will be a good way to get us in the habit of my disappearing for a few hours every evening with homework, since that’s going to be our life starting in January anyway. Or maybe I’ll just write this downstairs next to him on the futon, with Spooks on in the background. That might make for interesting results.

Anyway, this doesn’t negate the fact that I still haven’t a clue what to write about. I’m certainly not going to revisit the horrible story idea of the last attempt. However, I happen to know I’ve got a creative Readership, so here it is:

That’s a Jenn Story’s first! ever! giveaway contest!

In the comments, please give me a story idea, prompt, suggestion. I promise I will use one of The Readership’s suggestions, not one of my own (since I don’t have any) though I of course reserve the right to develop that idea in any way I see fit. The instigator of the suggestion I choose will win a free (even postage paid) copy of my already-in-existence novel, Trees in the Pavement. You have from now until October 31st to chime in, and you may post more than once, but ideas should be sent in separate comments.

Ready? Set? Go!


39 thoughts on “NaNoWriMore

    • I should probably have specified that you might only want to share ideas you don’t actually want to write yourself. 🙂

      But I might take it if you are offering it up! 🙂

      In the meantime, get your friends and followers to add ideas. Otherwise this contest is gonna be really boring . . . Heh.

  1. Ok I already have “Trees in the Pavement”, so how about a bootleg signed copy of “Favored One”? and I will pay postage?

    Your mission should you choose to accept it is as follows: Write a story of the time between when “The Angel of Light” was subjected to judgement just after the “fall” and when “The Omnipotent One” started reordering Earth to prepare for the first Humans. It will perhaps be a story of the legions that followed the “Morning Star”.

    This message will self destruct in 10 seconds 🙂

  2. A troubled high-school student makes friends with a new addition to his/her school. The new student is off-putting but compassionate, unpopular but insightful, and slowly starts giving our protagonist exactly what he/she needs to recover from whatever troubles him or her. As the story progresses, odd, supernatural things start to occur in the presence of the new student, and the protagonist is forced to wonder – is this new kid just a kid? Could this kid be something more, something special?

  3. Ok how about this one…. You go to sleep one night in your bed and when you awake you are lying in a garden, nothing but plants, flowers, trees, creeks, and one dog. There is a note stashed in the crook of a tree just above you ready, Go 🙂

  4. Pingback: A Father’s Wisdom « Dear Ms. Migraine

  5. a story about a woman who writes a blog and it slowly turns into an international movement (you decide the content obviously ;)) (Oh I already have trees in the pavement, signed :))

  6. The novel I would love to read from you would be ( and this is a little vague), one that discusses the idea ‘you can never go home’. So a capable independent women has lived abroad for several years and for whatever reason is heading home to her to live with/near her family once again. I think the concept of re-entering your own culture is fascinating. As is the propensity of grown adults to revert to adolescence in the prolonged presence of their parents. ( I know I am capable of this).
    So clearly this isn’t a massively plot driven novel. Lol. But still its one I would like to read.

  7. What about sending your child protagonist to India on an mountaineering adventure to Ladakh where he is separated by his group. He ends up in a Buddhist monastery up in the mountains and returns with secret mental powers…!

    • That might require a return to that region. Which might be hard to afford on such short notice, but . . . maybe I should try it. 🙂

  8. What will it really be like when Jesus comes back?

    Want to make it really interesting? Tell from the point of view of a young person in a hunter-gatherer culture.

  9. You wake up and there are two of you.
    There is no explanation. It boggles science, raises interesting moral issues. It is impossible to tell the real you from the duplicate.

  10. Couple becomes pregnant by IVF. Discovers the wrong embryos were transferred. Bio parents demand an abortion and when the pregnant mom refuses, the bio parents will not give up their parental rights. (Your choice who the law favors, currently depends on state I think… there was a story like this in the news not too long ago).

    Or, a surrogate discovers the child she is carrying will have a disability. Bio parents want an abortion, she refuses. (I heard of a couple stories like this in the news too). She decides to raise the child herself. She hadn’t planned on another child but now she has one, one with problems. She does not have any support. Her teenaged children are thinking only about themselves. After the birth her marriage falls apart, she cannot work enough to keep her job, she ends up homeless. But she raises her child. She gave up everything for him. It is hard to resent him because after all he is her son. He never is able to support himself, and the payments she gets and the odd jobs she does barely cover their living expenses. She is never able to retire, travel, anything she dreamed of. And she dies.
    But then she discovers that everything she has done for him, was for God. And he says “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And that is enough.

  11. I have been thinking about ideas to give you. But meanwhile, I signed myself up, too. BSU (before sign-up) I thought to tell you I would like to read about you. Or maybe about a little curly black dog and its difficult world. But ASU I understand that there is more to it. You need a plot. A plan. I can offer you two titles that I thought of. “That invisible wall” and “Friends”. Don’t worry if we would take the same title, I am sure the books would turn out to be totally different. If I were you, I would take: ‘the life and dreams of a little black dog’. But that’s me of course. Too bad I don’t have a little black dog… 😦 🙂

  12. Are you looking for a full plot or more of a prompt? How about: Jesus comes back as a dog. Theologically problematic, perhaps.

    A president has a dream that convinces him of the reality of the God he did not believe in, and suddenly he is faced with the prospect that everything he stood for when elected is wrong.

    Two people have the same dream. Due to the wonders of modern technology they end up hearing about each other. What is the meaning of the dream? What should they make of the odd connection they now share?

    A novel in the second person about a missionary. “Even as a child you knew you were connected to the people of _____(country)…..”

    A story about monster trucks, rainbows, and butterflies. I have frequent requests for one of these.

    A woman struggles with infertility but pours herself into the lives of children in the church.

    A young Christian man finds himself falling in love with a young woman who has Down Syndrome.

    A murder mystery at a crossword tournament– “Cruciverbalisticide”

  13. Hieroglyphic-type writings from a previously unknown civilization are discovered. They contain startlingly accurate predictions of world events that have since come to pass… and predictions of events which have not yet happened. Thousands of people begin converting to an unknown dead religion….

    A workable artificial womb is created. Explore moral, political, legal, familial implications.

    An artist finds himself compelled to create a picture and then a sculpture of the Beast described in revelation. It begins to speak to him and a select few others….

    A man works all his life and, at 35, accomplishes his childhood dream. Does it fulfill him? What’s next?

    A pastor and his wife adopt a sibling group of troubled older children. When he finds himself unable to fulfill the Biblical mandates of a pastor (especially controlling his children), he resigns his position of authority indefinitely….

    A modern day mad scientist manages to create a few dozen clones of himself, but when his workshop is discovered, DSS intervenes and removes the children due to numerous (legitimate) concerns. It is determined that in order for these children to have as normal a childhood as possible (and of course there would be other problems with keeping them all together), they should each have separate adoptive families. Write from the point of view of a foster parent who is immediately placed with several due to lack of available homes, but may only choose one child; an adoptive parent; or, one of these children as an adult.

    The secret to eating as much as one wants, losing weight, and feeling good risk-free is discovered. How does this affect society? Relationships? One family?

  14. An casual writer falls in love with a character from her story. She is trying to find her soulmate but the men she meet don’t measure up to him. Then one day, without looking to, she meets the person who seems exactly like her character. Of course he’s not exactly like the character, but where he isn’t she doesn’t notice, pretends otherwise, or tries to push him into that character’s mold. They get married, and one day while searching for something else her husband comes across her old writings on her computer, clearly written before they met but bearing an eerie resemblance to himself… but even more resemblance to who his wife makes him out to be.

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