It’s That Time Again: NaNoWriMo!

I’ve known about NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know) for years, but last year was the first time I participated. I wrote this love story I had been thinking about for a few years and I won NaNo (Winning means you wrote 50,000 words in the month of November) but I still, to this day, haven’t done anything else with my novel. I still have to re-write the ending and proof-read and edit and then start looking into publishing. I told myself at the time that I would take a break until winter break from College to do all of that, but I never did.

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See? I won! haha

However, this year, I’m going to do it again, and unlike last year, instead of an idea I’ve planned on for ages, I have STILL not picked a story idea! NaNo starts Tuesday and so far I’ve chosen a genre: Murder Mystery.

I’m a big fan of Murder Mysteries and especially the classic “murderer is picking us off one by one” stories that take place in an isolated location. I think this year, I’m writing one of those types of mysteries set in some sort of scientific research expedition. However, that’s as far as I’ve got. I have no real plot, no characters, no setting, and no idea what to write about.

Currently I’m considering possibly a polar research facility that’s cut off by an arctic storm while a killer takes his time picking people off one by one (a la Fortitude, the TV show that took a very different turn near the end than just a killer), or possibly some sort of research expedition camping in the wilderness and someone is picking them off one by one. I also thought maybe keep with the wilderness theme, but it’s like the classic ‘research facility up in the mountains miles away from civilization and someone cut all the fuel lines to the vehicles’ type thing.

I also thought of maybe a research vessel murder mystery where they’re on a ship floating around in the ocean and the radios are dead so there’s no calling the coast guard, but the problem there is that there are so many technological reasons that wouldn’t work. I had that same problem with the first idea I had where the murderer is picking off people living in a future space colony. Obviously, there would be no way a space colony wouldn’t have complete coverage from cameras and life support systems and just basic statistic data measurement devices to make that impossible.

Or who knows, I could go 30 Days of Night and have a whole town being ravaged by a nightly killer but, since they’re an isolated village, there’s not enough manpower from the police to protect everybody and find the killer.

I honestly don’t know what I want to do, but I’m closer now than I was before, because at least I have a vague idea of what I want to do. I know it’s a pretty tired basic plot, but I love it. I could read fifty different versions of this basic idea and still be entertained. I hope others might be the same. What would you guys suggest? Do you have any thoughts?

Author: J. Chelsea Williford

Student at Middle Georgia State University, writer, pop culture lover.

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