And more often than not, start to panic when they realise they haven't got a clue where they are going to start on November 1st.
As for me, apart from a couple of vague attempts at short stories, I have hardly written anything this year, and as a result have my spare ideas from last NaNo plus one or two others rattling around inside my head, competing for my attention over the next couple of months. So, mainly for my own easy reference, here's my current WIPlist (or rather, ideas list, as most of these are insufficently developed to qualify as 'in progress'):
- An Old Testament Space Opera. I think I can put an original enough slant on the story of Joseph and his brothers for it to work.
- A comic fantasy. I think DragonQuest (NaNo 2009) needs a prequel.
- A paranormal/slipstream/ weird novel which sort of exists in my head but whose plot I haven't been able to distill into a sentence or two yet.
- A collection of short stories which may or may not be interconnected. This would give me the chance to start any or all of these ideas, and more, and see which have the legs for a novel and give me plenty of raw material to work on over the next year.
- A memoir. Also not strictly within the rules of NaNoWriMo, but if NaNo isn't about breaking the rules, what is it about?
- Some sort of timey-wimey story, either time travel or alternate history, in which Christ's life on Earth forms a critical point.
- The wild card option. Just pluck some characters, a plot and maybe a few other things at random from the adoptables threads, mix them all together and create something entirely rubbish...
- An alternate history of WW2. I have sort of an idea for this, but I’m not sure I can make it stand out from the squillions of alternate WW2 scenarios already played out in fiction. Unless….
- An alternate version of Left Behind – in which the rapture occurred during WW2, the Cold War, or the 1990s...Has the minor drawback that everything I know about the rapture and what comes thereafter I learnt from reading the Left Behind series years ago - and I've no wish to revisit them now.