I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month for the 9th time since 2007. It’s interesting, scrolling back through my project history on the site, and having no recollection of a few of the WIPs. The ones I didn’t finished, incidentally, which kind of makes sense. I remember most details of 4 of the 5 novels I completed. One I remember a bit about, but don’t remember completing or what happened at the end. I guess I could read it like a book, but something about that seems unsettling. Do “real” authors read their own books? There’s so much out there that it seems like a waste to read something you created, even if you don’t really remember it.
But I digress. I feel rejuvenated about the concept of Nano this year, after successfully participating in Camp Nano during the month of July. I wrote every day, and I completed a lot of short stories, and even months later, I feel like I can accomplish anything. Mostly because the habit of daily writing is ingrained in me, even if it’s just morning pages. In addition to that task, I try to write fiction or “for fun” (aka creative nonfiction) as much as possible. Some days that is just writing down interesting thoughts or questions that come to mind that might inspire a story. Sometimes it’s funny stuff I overhear at work. Sometimes it’s ridiculous conversations I have at work (I work with children). Sometimes it’s a dream that seems so realistic I almost think it’s a memory, but there’s no way *that* could have happened.
I’m starting this round of Nano with less than a concept or outline, but something that launched my mind into overdrive regardless. When I logged in to declare my project, there was the option of giving a title. I typically type “Work In Progress”, “To Be Determined”, or “Untitled”. But this year, my computer had other plans for me. It remembered something I had typed on a random site back in the spring. Oh, don’t worry, it’s totally SFW. In fact, it’s something I typed for work. “Imaginary Friend Bingo”, a bingo card I created on a random website for the Family Book Clubs I hosted at school in April. That’s what auto-populated, and so that is what my novel will be called.
As I said, my mind is running rampant with this minor restriction. Is it a collection of short stories about imaginary friends? Is it a Toy Story rip-off about imaginary friends coming to life and having adventures? Is it a series of interviews with people asking who their imaginary friends were and what they did with said friends? (This one is especially appealing, since I work with children.) Is it a mix of all of the above, combined with research, packaged as a volume about friendship and play?
Probably not. It will probably be whatever’s been in the back of my mind that I’ve intended to write about but never found time. But! The thought is out there, and my mind is churning, and isn’t that really the point of writing, anyway?