November is just six and a half months away! Time to get ready for NaNoWriMo! Panic! Okay, maybe it's not that urgent to start preparations now, though considering that last year I grabbed an idea at the last minute, some thought might help. Right now*, I have two ideas. One is an idea I've been toying with for a while, just never figuring out the right approach. The other brings together the lessons from Subject 13, Unruly, and Beaver Flight; the format is as important as the subject matter.
The first idea, Colony Base 183, was a choice for last year. What has changed since then is that, in playing around with an idea for Traveller, I discovered a setting that would provide for the story and file off all those pesky serial numbers Colony Base 183 has. The Terran Commonwealth will get its own post in the near future, but short version of it is a non-Star Trek setting that has humanity exploring and discovering neighbours, some of whom believe the upstart primates from Dirt** should be forcibly removed from the galactic arm. Into this grand setting comes a young Colonial Ranger, a member of the Colonization Office of the Exploration Service*** on her first mission as law enforcement on a new Commonwealth colony. Breaking away from Trek to the Terran Commonwealth lets me shed all the tropes associated with Star Trek and provide different technologies. Plus, colonization of planets may become a matter of interest once Mars is opened for habitation. A space western, except not.
The other idea is based on the Shadowrun RPG. However, instead of prose like By the Numbers, I want to try scripting the story like a webcomic. This is where the serialization efforts of Subject 13 and Unruly come in. A successful script in NaNo needs 100 pages completed, though I'll have to look into what is considered a page. I'm still working on a general plot, though, as a serial, I can break the story down into separate jobs still featuring the same cast. The main characters from By the Numbers won't be featured, but may make cameos. I have a new cast in mind, one that isn't as professional.
In both cases, I have a cast already in mind, a world at least partially built, and general directions. All that's left is to work out a plot and an end point. And minor details. And antagonists. And action sequences. Maybe I'm not ready yet.
* Last year, I managed to narrow down a choice of two into three possibilities. Which really isn't narrowing anything down at all.
** Earth. A riff off a line from Illegal Aliens by Nick Pollotta and Phil Foglio, stating that all species name their homeworld some sort of variant of "Dirt".
*** Er, the Scout Service from /Traveller/. There are some new serial numbers appearing.