I’m gearing up for the 2015 National Novel Writing Month. This year, I’ll be tackling a ten-part hi-lo story I’m tentatively calling Space Cadets. It features three very different teenagers, who, at first at least, can’t stand each other. They eventually learn to overcome and appreciate their differences and wind up having a series of adventures in and around the Terran colony on which they’ve grown up.
It might turn into a series of shorts, rather than a full-length novel, but we’ll see. Hard to say at this point. I’m something of a “pantser,” so who knows? (A “pantser” is a writer who doesn’t plan very much ahead. I do have a vague idea where I’m going, but no detailed outline or anything like that. If I did, I would be a “planner.”)
What’s a hi-lo book, you’re wondering? It’s a book with high interest and low readability. They’re excellent for older struggling readers such as my students. Older protagonists, teen-level language, and deeper, more sophisticated plots and themes–all wrapped in a reading level of about 4th grade, in this case. It allows kids to read something engaging, something written just for them, rather than some “baby” book. I’ll do anything to get a kid to read, even write the book myself!
To be honest, I’m not at all confident of logging that relentless 1,667 words a day, every single day, for the entire month of November. Still, the local NaNo group here in the Kansas City metro is an awesome group of folks, and I want to hang out with them at Scooters, drink mochas, and write as much as I can. I figure that anything I crank out is more than I would have written if I weren’t doing NaNo at all. It’s all good, given those terms. And maybe I’ll have a third series to toss my publisher’s way when I’m done.
See you on the other side of 50,000 words!