Sci-Fi + Hot Air Balloons = Steampunk

I’m a Municipal Liaison for the Dayton, Ohio region for NaNoWriMo.  I have been participating in since 2012, and while I do try to participate in Camp NanoWriMo I am far more successful in November. The pressure and the rigorous pace suit me.  Many people hear “50,000 words in 30 days” and get nervous or scared. But if it wasn’t a challenge it wouldn’t be worth doing, in my opinion.
Writing buddy Oberon...
a cute distraction.

Normally for NaNoWriMo, I write an urban fantasy series starring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Their story has never come together in a way that’s satisfactory for me, though I love the characters.  This year I’ll be venturing into a different genre: Steampunk.

How I came to my story was a little different than in past years. Usually, I get my ideas from things I see in real life, and then giving them a supernatural twist. But this time, I was inspired by a flash fiction prompt I received for a contest by NYC Midnight.  I was given the prompt for the genre sci-fi, the location of a hot air balloon, and to include a four leaf clover.  I probably won’t place in the contest, but what I created a very cool world in the span of 1000 words that I could live in for a while. The flash fiction format allowed me to play with elements I wouldn’t normally consider. It allowed me to use characters I was unfamiliar with for a short period of time without having to commit to them.  In retrospect, it’s not a bad strategy to take the time to try out your ideas for 1000 words and see how they will work for you. I think I will be using this strategy for idea generation in the future. 
It's a little hard to write with Cicero
looking over your shoulder...

My strategy for daily word count is to steal time during the day. I write during lunch, between meetings, (sometimes during meetings if I’m genuinely not needed), and then in the evening when I can have dedicated time.  I always try to know what I’m going to be writing next – planning out tomorrow’s 1667 words before I go to bed at night.  This nearly eliminates the problem of having to think about what I’m going to write the next day.

I keep coming back to NaNoWriMo because there’s nothing quite like the 50,000 word challenge to get my creative mind busy again.  I love it when I can get passionate about what I’m writing, my characters especially.  The process is like a rush that extends over an entire month. I don't feel this fulfilled any other time of year. I love it, and I doubt my Novembers will ever what they used to be again.

You can find me on the NaNoWriMo site under the name "styrch".


  1. Thanks for featuring me!!! :) Happy writing!

  2. Thank you, Sarah. You're writing buddies are so cute. Your brave to try something new. Good luck!

  3. I do so admire those who can create new worlds! Here's to a great 2016, may the words flow!

  4. You're going to rock this challenge, for sure. And thank you for the reminder about planning for the next day. It is helpful to at least have some idea of where to go next, even for a pantser like me.


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