Not so much this year. I have this vision my head that just isn't coming out in words. I don't expect the writing magic to flow every night, but the thing I've come to depend on with NaNo is that if I keep spewing the words out every night, then the drudgery momentarily turns to magic, here and there. Into my third week now, and I'm not seeing any sparks flying yet. I'm holding onto my vision for this story, and trusting the process of visiting it every night, putting one word after another, trying not to give up.
My vision for this book (working title, Refuge) is a blend of the real world with completely magical mythical creatures. It isn't a portal into a magical world like Narnia, or a reverse portal where something magical finds itself stuck in reality; it's not a clash of two different worlds... it's sort of the real world and the magical one tentatively meeting each other, brushing edges and sparking static electricty, but still hiding in the shadows. It's also about what the two worlds need to learn from each other.
Plans for this story go back many, many years and includes inspiration from sources like Legend (the 1985 movie with Tom Cruise); the Island Stallion by Walter Farley and the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. More recently, the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, Pegasus by Robin McKinley and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor have sparked new passion into my original vision. I have a rough draft and years of dreaming; what I had hoped to do during this NaNo was to stitch the new vision into the old but now I'm wondering if I have maybe too much "grand vision" and "dreaming" and not enough of it distilled down into concrete ideas. And yet, I have a solid outline, tons of world building and character sketches - but something is still missing to make all of the ingredients work together.
Even if the magic doesn't kick in during this round, I love this story too much to give up. A story like this deserves as much time as it needs to fully come together. Maybe its waiting on me to grow some more, learn some more, collect more experience and heartbreak and passion.
There are 10 days of NaNoWriMo left and I'm going to keep plugging away.