If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, you haven’t been in the writing business for long. (Not that everyone who is in the ‘writing business’ is actually in the ‘publishing business’—me for example—but that’s another story.) November is National Novel Writing Month and somewhere around 80,000 people are expected to take part.
My friend Darvell Hunt introduced our writing group to this a few years back, after he participated, and I’ve been making an effort to do something on it every year since then. The idea behind the challenge is to write at least 50,000 words on a story in one month. So many people have a story idea, but then never get around to doing anything about it, and those that do start writing often never finish. (I didn’t say it had to be the next best seller—just write the dang thing).
If you go to www.NaNoWriMo.com, you can sign up and learn more about it. My first novel written this way was a romantic suspense which has undergone several revisions, and which I’m thinking is still salvageable—but not my highest priority at the time. I am rather pleased with it in general, though, as it was my first suspense novel and has some pretty good bones.
The next year I worked on bits of several novels, as I couldn’t pin myself down to just one. That’s not exactly the idea, I know, but there you go. Then last year I got part way through the month working on my story, and we all but had a house fall in our laps. Figuratively, that is. That was the end of my writing for the month as I spent the following month cleaning, packing, painting and moving.
This year I’m trying to be more realistic. Or not. The trouble is November is insanely busy, but then, any month you picked out could be considered insanely busy by someone. And to top it off, I have to figure out what to write. Now, I don’t mean I’m plumb out of ideas—something that could never, ever happen at the rate I come up with them. I’m just searching for the right storyline, the one out of the several dozen I’ve played with a bit that will captivate my imagination and push me to keep going.
All of this despite the fact that I’ve got four hours of EMT studying to do, three loads of laundry to fold and dinner ingredients sitting crowded in the fridge because I can’t be bothered to cook. And let’s forget the yard work and winterizing that need to be done before the snow flies. It’s a good thing my husband is an understanding soul. And that he’s working swing shifts for most of the month. And that he’s already an EMT running with the local ambulance so he understands the chunk of time this class is taking from my life. Who needs sleep, anyway?
I wrote most of a novel during NaNo a couple of years ago — it was a fabulous experience. Good luck and hope it goes well for you!
I’ve got some written already, but I decided I need to go back and work on a character sheet because it’s coming out so blah. Flat. Guess that means it’s time to figure out what makes my people sparkle.