I’ve always wanted to write a novel. It’s been a goal-slash-dream of mine for as long as I can remember. But since it’s just a goal-slash-dream, it’s difficult to hold myself to any sort of deadline. I get busy, get distracted, come up with random other projects, get writer’s block and skive off… the list of excuses is endless.
That’s where NaNo comes in 🙂
For the last few years, I’ve been trying to participate in NaNoWriMo in November, but it always ends up screwing with either my schoolwork or my mental health – usually both. It’s just not a great time of year to be devoting a ton of time and energy to writing – exams are right around the corner, homework is at is heaviest, and there are lots (and lots and lots…) of academic deadlines. It doesn’t work for me.
So this year I’m doing something a little different: Camp NaNo! It’s run by the same people, and works on the same premise, but with two key differences: first, the goals are self-set, which means I can aim for something slightly smaller and have a better chance at success; and second, it’s in the summer, which is already setting me up for success – no schoolwork to take a hit, more free time, and lots of sunshine to keep my mood cheery.
You can find my profile here if you’re interested in tracking my progress throughout the month! I’m aiming for 25,000 words in July, which is approximately 807 words a day. I’m slightly ahead already, because I started writing a tiny bit (about 200 words) yesterday, which is fine by me because tomorrow is Canada Day and I probably won’t have a ton of time to write.
My Project This Year
The project I’m working on this year has been percolating since January or so. I’m going to write the Next Great Sherlock Holmes Novel! I’m excited about it. My goal is ultimately to get it published, but I’m slightly nervous that it would be dismissed as fanfiction* by publishers. Pastiche is, after all, the realm of Old White Guys, Not For Women (or silly fangirls), and especially Not For Lesbians (because all women who write m/m or f/f fic are hetero fetishizers™, obviously). Well, I’d like to change alla that. And I think that now there’s starting to be a bit of a market for it, even if it ends up with me just self-publishing an ebook.
*if you follow me on tumblr (and you should be) you know I write fanfic and love it. The difference here is that the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are public domain now, which means I’m legally allowed to publish and profit from this project. Fanfic (in my definition) is transformative work from a source material that isn’t public domain.*
Anyway, my Lesbian Sherlock Holmes Novel will be, you guessed it, a love story between Holmes and Watson. I haven’t decided if I want to re-imagine the original stories in a more modern context, or if I want to just use them as a jumping-off point and write an original plot. We’ll see how it goes. The description I currently have is:
Starting with A Study in Scarlet and incorporating some other classic cases, a retelling of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson’s love story – as young, modern queer women.
I’ll probably do at least one case from the short stories, but I haven’t decided which yet. I’m leaning towards skipping STUD and moving right into A Scandal in Bohemia. Mostly because Irene Adler needs to be adapted and modernized properly goddamnit!! I’ll probably pick one where Holmes gets injured, just because it would fit into the plot I vaguely have worked out.
However my plot works out, I’m certain of three elements:
- Holmes and Watson are in love. Always have been, always will be. It’s about time we start recognising it. (Do I have delusions of grandeur in which I’m know as “the author who brought Holmes and Watson out of the closet in mainstream literature?” Hell yes I do)
- The novel will be written in journal/notebook/diary format. I think it suits the voice and vibe I’m shooting for. Plus, the original stories are meant to be Watson’s writings about Holmes, so I think this would be a pretty good way to translate that to a more modern story. and
- Holmes is a problem-solver for queer people. She genuinely loves helping people and wants to do good.
I’m really excited about this project!!! (wish me luck!)