“I write romance novels.” This phase took me years to be comfortable writing and then saying to the world. There can be an inherent bias associated with writing the “bodice rippers.” My first (and still incomplete novel) was fantasy. I spent my first Nano year writing in the fantasy genre and to be honest, it was a miserable experience. Fifty thousand words remained elusive, but my goal was to move from the coveted ground of writer to published author. So I continued to plod through what I thought was a commercially viable book.
By the time Camp Nano 2015 rolled around, I had what felt like an incurable case of writer’s block. Allowing myself the freedom to step away from the carefully plotted outline of my first book, I decided to write short blocks of whatever came into my head for ten minutes just to get the juices flowing. By the end of Camp Nano, my fantasy novel remained untouched, but the inner workings of what became His Forgotten Duchess were well formed. Nano 2015 flew by, and the words came forth easier as I allowed my characters to finally have their voice, genre be damned.
This year I will be participating in my third Nanowrimo, writing His Lost Duchess (working title). The story follows two of the minor characters from His Forgotten Duchess who have been yelling at me to have their story written - despite needing to finish the final edits of my first book before submitting. I promised Emily and Thomas the entire month of November and cannot wait to see what springs to life on the page.
My goals of being a published author have not changed, just the genre. My challenge to you is the same challenge I issued to myself almost two years ago. Write your characters, the ones that speak to you, that demand the stage and pen be addressed only to them. The genre does not matter because when the words flow and the characters speak, your stories come alive and your goals become easier and more attainable. Good luck with Nano 2016- see you at 50,000 goal line!