NaNoWriMo is coming up. This will be my seventh year participating. I've had a decent run, too. Seven starts, seven times hitting 50k words. One year, I reached 85k words. (The math puts it at an average of 2667 words/day. It took the first week of December for my hands to recover.) Last year, though, was a measly 51k. Usually, by October, I have narrowed the ideas down to one and have at least thought about the setting. This year? Oi... Three ideas. All similar, but different enough that mix and match isn't possible without getting another idea. So, here's what I have. Mecha Academy I finally figured out the format for the story. Originally, it was more episodic in nature. To work around that, the framework is to tell the story of the cast in their first year at a military academy for mecha pilots. Over the course of the year, they'd have conflict with each other, fellow cadets, officers, and the Republic (the "bad guys"). I had started working on this back in 2001, but hadn't filled in the gaps since then. Technically, this makes me a NaNo rebel - I'm not starting a new story from scratch. (But it's not cheating. Fifty thousand new words is still 50k words.) I have worked out background, setting details down to ranks, the nature of the Imperium and the Republic, types of vehicles (fanbikes! Flying cars!), all of that. Just have to, you know, write. Beaver Flight Inspired by an Arrogant Worms song ("We Are the Beaver"), the story features an all-woman flight of powered armour (smaller than Mecha Academy's mecha) as they take on an alien invasion. The characters are worked out, very little has been written, and I might even know where to start! (Yay, prologues!) The nice thing about Beaver Flight is that I don't need to end the war in one book. I have a rough idea of the supporting cast, including command staff, other flights (Eagle, Bear, Kangaroo, Tiger). The problem, well, given the nature of the staffing, despite using national animals... yeah. But, there's a big reveal in place! The Brazen Hussies Another all-woman force, this time a mercenary unit working in the Republic (see Mecha Academy, above). Just placing the story in the same setting cuts down on prep work, but I still need to figure out cast and plot. Though, with this story, I could work on a multi-level narrative, from the troops on the pointy end of the explode-y stick to the field commanders to the brass. All that I need to do is work out the mercenary force. I've got until November 1st to figure all that out. Oh, and come up with the proper name for the Hussies; the title is their nickname. Eventually, I'll have a choice. And I'll be blogging the insanity of NaNo throughout November, provided my brain isn't all melty.