Ever since I started this blog, I've thought it might be fun to participate in the blog version (NaNoBlogMo) of NaNoWriMo, but every year November has been a hectic month for me, and it hasn't been feasible. I'm not sure it will be feasible this year, either, but as it happens I will have a tiny bit more time this November than in any November before, even allowing for things like research. Since I can't guarantee anything, I won't be officially participating, but I've been planning to put up a novel or novelish bit of draft this November. The idea would be to get at least most of it online by the end of November. What precisely it will be will depend in the end on what I decide will flow more easily, but as I always have several ideas for novels in my head, I thought I'd ask what people thought of the various alternatives currently on the table. These are the current possibilities:
(1) Tanaver: a rather involved space fantasy involving, among other things space barbarians, super-advanced space monkeys (the Samar), and a War between Very Powerful Aliens (one group of which is the Tanaver, of whom the Samar and the main character -- who is not Samar -- are less-advanced allies). Actually, it's a little more serious (the villains are a very nasty bit of work) and a bit less pulpy than that makes it sound, and this is the current frontrunner. The Samar aren't the main characters, but I've really wanted to write a novel about them for a while -- the problem being that they are, for a number of reasons, not actually novelizable. So the next best thing is a novel about human beings in which they figure on occasion. Reason for the Working Title: The main character, Kassi, lives in the Tanaver Alliance, a political commonwealth that covers seven entire universes and uncountably many civilizations, and is chosen suddenly by the powerful and mysterious Tanaver, who exist outside any particular universe, to be an ambassador to the Samthyrian Empire in a non-Alliance universe; the Empire is a galaxy-wide empire under attack by an enemy that takes over human bodies, an enemy that is itself backed by mysterious Tanaver-like aliens.
(2) Aegidius: a fantasy about werewolf packs in the modern world, and in particular about the Wolf-King; his history will unfold as he handles a pack war and a rebellion in his own ranks. There will be no sparkling vampires or nonsense like that, so never fear on that end. This is one where I like the idea, but waver on the particular course to take with it. Reason for the Working Title: The Wolf-King's modern name is Giles Scott, CEO of the Aegidian Corporation; 'Giles' is just the anglicized version of his actual name, which is Aegidius. Unimpressive to look at and originally rather mild-mannered, he rose to power through the centuries by cunning and strength of will, eventually killing his predecessor and destroying his rivals.
(3) Balaam's Ass: science fiction with some (fairly mild) fantasy elements, beginning with a terrorist act on the advanced planet of Hypermetria, in which all the Scientists of the planet are shut down -- the Scientists of Hypermetria being in fact artificial intelligences. The rest of the story is about an attempt to find out who is behind the act. This is probably the one that currently holds the position behind Tanaver; I like the two main characters as they are currently conceived, Robert Couvert (pronounced Ro-Bare Cu-Vare) and Father Matthew Li. Reason for the Working Title: The main characters will spend most of the work trying to uncover the nature of the Society of Balaam's Ass, an anti-Hypermetrian group accused of having initiated the attack on the Scientists; their motto is, "Balaam's Ass is the True Prophet." When I first thought up the basic story idea, it was called The Dead and Their Shadows, about a multi-generational feud between the Devil and either an Ibbur or a Dibbuk; but once the mysterious Society of Balaam's Ass came in, it dominated the story until it's pretty much stuck with its current title, however completely unpublishable in the real word such a title may currently be.
(4) The River Already: has the advantage of largely being written already -- I wrote it years ago (because of that it would be ineligible for real NaNoWriMo, but since this won't be officially NaNoWriMo, but just inspired by it, that wouldn't be a problem). It requires some pretty heavy revision in parts, and there are possibly irreversible plot problems that are almost inevitable in something whose basic outlines were thought out in ninth grade, but for all that the original (which wasn't, never fear, actually written in ninth grade) was quite readable -- reasonably trim and with at least some engaging characters. It's a fairly straightforward quest fantasy, although it's an occasionally weird take on the genre, with a lot of dream sequences: a boy, and the tiny country of Irlia, gets swept up in bigger affairs involving a might empire, a demon, invasions, etc. I'd have to dig up the old drafts, but they're around here somewhere. The story (deliberately) has no chapters -- it's just one long stream with occasional pauses, which might make it difficult to put online very easily. Reason for the Title: Much of the background for the story is the tiny landlocked nation of Irlia and its relations with its next-door neighbor, the mighty ocean-spanning Tasimonian Empire. The Irlians are very practical, while the Tasimonians are rather cryptic and mystical in outlook. 'Time is the River Already and Already is the Moment of Decision' is a Tasimonian proverb.
So does any of that sound the slightest bit interesting? As I said, I'll end up going with what I think I can handle most easily (i.e., what will be likely to hold my interest long enough, what has been thought through enough, etc.), but I'd also be interested in whether any of it sounds promising to anyone who's likely at least to browse it.