For those who haven’t heard of it before, National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) is an annual event held over the course of November, in which participants aim to write a novel in a month. More specifically, the target is to write 50,000 words (around 1,500/day), which is likely to form the backbone of a novel after many edits and redrafts.
This year I’m keen to run with an idea which has been knocking around my head for a while: a historical novel centred around Julius Caesar’s rise to power, and the civil war which divided Rome and began the transition from republic to empire. In some respects the plot is already written, although of course we can never be certain what happened given that our primary source was penned by the protagonist and is hardly likely to be an unbiased account (chapter 2 of my MA dissertation has a brief discussion of the reliability of sources). There are gaps in the narrative and opportunities for some artistic licence though, and Robert Harris hasn’t done too badly with his trilogy based on Cicero.