Some of us -Claire, Susan, and Rachel- will be whipping their existing novels into shape. Yes! I expect first drafts in my in-box at the end of the year. Mruwahahahaha!
Like Jen, I'm planing on doing something new. Starting a new novel is a strange thing. For a lot of you out there it's been a while. Our first novel consumes us. So much so that putting those character's away, turning to others can sometimes feel like cheating. How could we give our love and attention to someone new? :-)
On the other hand, the excitement of that first meeting is a wonderful thrill. Sometimes this is a tentative dance. You circle each other at first, make small talk. Get to know each other. There is the initial attraction but how to proceed? Then there are instances of instant lust. You have to have each other. From the first meeting you want to spend every available moment with each other.
I've experienced both, and the both have their merits. With the current project -tentatively titled Britannia -it is a slow dance. It has to be. It is a Steampunk fantasy. World building is important and I don't want to fall headlong into a story that I have to change because of tiny details. But this is part of the fun. Hell, every thing is fun about a new novel. Nowhere to go but forward, no baggage, no backtracking, just the open road.
For me, prepping for a new novel involves copious google searches -I'm a bit leery that my searches for bomb making and how to do it might land me on homeland security's watch list- note taking, doodling (yes, I like to draw costumes, weapons, jewelry the characters wear...) and oddly, listening to music. For some reason, I find myself making up a play list for my characters. Certain music will attract me and help form certain characters.
Claire put up a great post on music this weekend. I'll add onto it again. For Britannia, I've been gravitating toward songs by Goldfrapp. If you haven't heard of Goldfrapp you are missing out. So says me. (g) Her music is haunting and dreamy. Love it. So I give you two examples, a live version of Utopia since it is so dang good, and Forever -because that's the one that's getting the most play for me right now.
So what about the rest of you? Do you do anything special when you start to write? Or do you just go for it? And are you joining in the madness that is NaNo?