National Novel Writing Month, known for short(ish) as NaNoWriMo, is upon us. The annual November event, invented to inspire amateur writers to crack down and finally write the first draft of their first novel, is a nice idea. Writing, especially a novel-length work, is hard to buckle down and do during an average year, when most yet-unpublished writers of all ages are balancing their passion project with school, work, life, and so on. And yet, there's something to be said for going slow. Novel writing is a big step, and lots of new writers are undoubtedly going to turn out 300 pages not fit for anyone's eyes. Here are some story concepts you'll see hitting the self-publication circuit in four weeks.
Dystopian Romance About Nerdy Teen Who Is Actually the Most Special
That particular kind of author insert popular with teens who are not very popular. Protagonist, who is probably "good-looking but not in a generic way," is quiet and shy but is actually the Chosen One with the ability to save the world—and wins the heart of the beautiful but underdeveloped love interest along the way.
Teen Who Breaks Out of the Suburbs and Moves to New York
Look, I love New York as much as anyone, but what the (typically suburban high schoolers or NYC college freshmen) writers of this particular genre haven't yet grasped is that with 8.4 million people living here, being a New Yorker doesn't inherently make you special. It's also decidedly unglamorous for most of us, and rarely do these stories capture the very particular, rock-bottom sense of pride you feel after you've extricated a cockroach from the shitty apartment you're overpaying for.
Super Niche Sci Fi/Fantasy
Sci fi can be great! So can fantasy! What's rarely great is that kind of story in which the author clearly spent so much time constructing and then explaining a world, complete with its own unique vocabulary, parameters, environment, and character naming scheme that they evidently forgot to think too much about the actual story. If you can make it through this book without having to take pages upon pages of notes just to keep up, you'll seldom find much reward at the end.
Over-Sexualized Victorian-Era Novel That Really Wants to Be Jane Austen But Is More Airport Paperback
Lots of sensual hand-brushing that leads up to ravishing and bodice-ripping. This writer wants to explore deep themes of love and romance, but is probably too young and inexperienced to really do so very fully. What they do have are some raging hormones. What is with some people and the 19th century? There's nothing sexy about Victorian-era hygiene.
Literally Anything Steampunk
As I understand it, this genre is a mix of low-key sci fi elements and Victorian England. What I don't understand is why. This niche genre offers plenty of room for the worst cliches of both.
Full-Length Fan Fiction
Veiled or otherwise—there will always be a slew of novel-length works of fan fiction, usually of the Harry Potter variety. If the writer has any intention of publishing (and, presumably, at least a faint understanding of copyright law) they'll hastily change the characters' names at the last minute.
But then again, The Cursed Child was technically fan fiction, and that made it to the West End...
Semi-Erotic Story About Witches, Vampires, or Werewolves
Come on, world, haven't we had enough?? Even HBO has had its fill of borderline pornographic supernatural stories.