So my idea this year is one which has been percolating for a good few months. But it is a little of a departure for me. While it still has a love story at the heart of it, it's mainlyan ensemble story. Thirteen mini character profiles is far beyond my usual core cast. Last year I had seven characters who I considered central to the story (though, in true NaNo fashion, another one became very important halfway through when I realised my tension was slipping). Thirteen is a new high for me and I'm a little concerned about whether I can juggle them properly. But - and there's always a but - the numbers are necessary for this story.
I've moved out of my comfort zone of the city into a village. That shift is also necessary for this particular story to work. Altering the character dynamic is going to be tricky but I'm lucky in one respect - I found myself writing character tensions into my profiles. I particularly like my vicar's wife, Celia, and her sworn enemy, Joyce. I can't wait to see how that's going to play out.
That's the fun of NaNo - I really have no idea how it'll all work out. I know the big overarching plot but the impact on the villagers? No idea as yet. I don't even know if my love story will succeed. Though I do have some serious issues giving characters unhappy endings, one of my current projects will definitely have that since there's no way love can survive. I've no idea where this will leave my NaNo project but I suppose I'll find out when I get there. If I get there. No, when I get there. Certainly can't go into this with my pessimistic head on.
So my characters are assembled. That's phase one of making NaNo a plausible prospect complete. Next: plan my first few chapters. Possibly more than a few. Preparation is everything this year.