I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo ( National Novel Writing Month ) this coming November. I did it last year and, though I didn’t quite make it to the 50,000 words needed to “win,” I did produce a not-half-bad Victorian Christmas romance novella that I was able to finish up and submit to Dreamspinner Press. That will be my first published novella, come December 2010.
Since I’ve written a few YA novels and currently have no idea where to market them, I thought I’d tackle another adult novel this time. Not “adult” in the sense of pornographic, but simply in the sense of having central characters who are out of High School. In this case, they’ll be about 35. Dreamspinner does like a certain level of eroticism in their publications, so there will be sex. But I tend to keep that to a minimum, preferring romance, innuendo and foreplay to blatant sex scenes. That’s not at all a condemnation of authors who do like graphic sex scenes. It’s just a personal preference.
Anyway, my story this year is an occult mystery, a bit in the “Ninth Gate” or “Name of the Rose” vein. It involves a 700-year-old manuscript of an alchemical mass by a student of Marsilio Ficino, a 15th-century Italian occultist who wrote about the occult properties of music (among other things). He was also, incidentally, gay. Oh, yeah — he was also the first person to translate Plato from Greek to Latin, making that philosopher’s works available to Europe. Remember how everybody was obsessed with Aristotle in “The Name of the Rose?” That was because Aristotle had been translated into Latin, at that time (13th-century, if I recall). Plato was pretty much a non-entity, until Ficino did his translations.
So we have our hero working on translating an ancient manuscript in a religious commune which is somewhat akin to the Ordo Templi Orientis that Aleister Crowley founded. Then people start dying.
I’m attempting to plot the mystery out before NaNo starts. Otherwise, I’ll get bogged down in the intricacies of the plot. Once November 1st kicks off, you have to churn out a minimum of 1,666 words per day, in order to hit 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th.