Well, I’m still not actually participating in NaNoWriMo, largely because this development came a few days late and it is HARD to catch up on word count, but I was broadsided a few days ago by the need to work on a new project. This project combines a storyline I’d been tossing around for a year or so and a format I’m excited about.
I’ve kept a journal since 1996, and have often doodled in it to record what something looked like, or illustrate a sarcastic point, or show how I imagine something. I also once wrote a story in my sketchbook, with words and pictures together. These were always fun, but I didn’t take them seriously, and assumed no one else would, either.
When I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I filed away the interesting knowledge that hey, people besides me actually like this format. And I love it. I’ve seen these called “semi-graphic novels.” As with graphic novels, one key point is that the pictures are not just illustrations – they’re involved with the text. In these diary-style books, the conceit that the first-person protagonist actually drew the pictures is a powerful way to strengthen the connection between character and reader: “I’m not just going to tell you about this, I’m going to show you.”
(Also, pictures are fun.)
So I was happy to see that this kind of project was actually, you know, publishable, but I didn’t think much more about it until a few days ago, when that plot I’d been playing with tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Um, I could do that,” shortly followed by, “YOU WILL WRITE ME NOW.”
So that’s what I’m working on at the moment. It is more fun than should really be legal.