The closer I get to November 1st, the more I begin to panic. This has been a particularly busy month. October is usually when I do the bulk of novel prep for National Novel Writing Month. I like to a decent plan down on paper before I sit down to write the actual piece in November. In previous years I have usually just had to juggle work, gym time and writing. My friends and family (bless them) have gotten used to the fact that I am largely not around/available the month of November while I do this little crazy contest.
This year has been really different though. I have the full-time job. I have the part-time job as a Personal Trainer. I have family from out of down visiting for the next week, and I am dealing with a neighbor from hell where the situation has gotten so bad that I have to go to court over the issue next week. Needless to say, I have done let’s say, nothing to actually plan for Certain T.
Am I still participating? Yes. I wavered a bit over that last night, and briefly considered just dropping out of the contest for this year. I am not going to though. I will make it work, and if that means writing by the seat of my pants this year, then so be it. It will be crazy, but I must finish.
A couple weeks back, when trying to figure out characters I came to the conclusion I might as well recycle a couple of them for this project, cutting down prep time. I used to have this philosophy of not using characters more than once, but I have largely broken that rule over the years. Sometimes a character you already have just fits a theme you want to write about. Or a situation. And it is quite frankly just easier to use a previous character than reinvent the wheel from scratch.
One of my most used characters is named Ashton. He appeared in my first National Novel Writing Month submission, Zero. That was way back in 2006. Since then he has starred in another story, 2007 it’s not what i mean, it’s what i say, a short story from my 2012 submission The Six Cs and has appeared in a couple other novels as a bit character. Ashton literarily speaking, gets around. I thought briefly about using him in Certain T this year, and ultimately decided against it. The situation did not warrant using him.
Another character, or two characters, did though. Oliver and Patrick from my 2011 submission Revision. They are two characters that I never thought I would use again. Patrick did not quite turn out the way that I wanted to originally, and Oliver while a great character, was at the time of his creation more of a one-time use character. It turns out that this year Oliver becomes a two time use character, and I may even present myself with the opportunity to do with Patrick that I originally intended three years ago.
Of course, this is all subject to change, because we all know how well novel prep has been this year…