National Novel Writing Month
It’s that time of the year again, and I’m gearing up to participate in the National Novel Writing Month annual writing competition, affectionately called NaNoWritMo.
For those of you who don’t know, every year writers take on the task of creating a 50,000 word novel by writing about 1,600 words every day for the entire month of November. You can create your outline before the date, but absolutely no writing of the book should take place before November 1st. So if you’re interested now is the best time to pull out that novel premise you’ve been screwing around with and join the fun. But first you have to register at: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
Last year was my first time entering and it had to be worth my while if I’m participating again this year.
Somewhere around ten last night I decided to give the heroine in my proposed novel a new career. Of course this just blew everything out of sync. Now I’m up at five in the morning on the day before the big event trying to reorganize my notes. This is so like me.
Last year I began writing with only an idea. I didn’t have an outline and I had to do the research on the subject as I went along. I chose to do a historical romance novel set in Egypt. Why do I do these things to myself?
This year I’m a little better prepared. I have an idea, know my characters and know how I want the story to begin and end. But I know me. I’ll start off with my prepared outline and I’ll go completely off the charts and write the story differently. Why do I do this? Because my characters usually take control and write the story they want the world to read.
Last year I wrote 5,000 words on the first day, which was pretty good when the goal was only 1,600 words. This year I’m not so confident since November 1st falls on a Monday, which is a work day for me, and I’ll be on a bus for two hours to and from work. Or, maybe I can use that to my advantage by writing while I’m riding. I don’t know. I have to see how things go.
What does it take to participate in NaNoWritMo? Well, it takes patience, determination and dedication to sit there and write with a goal in mind for a month. The hardest part is making sure you do it every day. I know life gets in the way some time so if you miss a day please try to catch up the next day. I generally do most of my writing in long hand first (got the callous on my finger to prove it) and then I type it up when I finish. Before I go to bed at night I enter the daily word count into the NaNoWritMo status counter box on my page. It’s fun to see the count go up every night.
What did I gain from last year’s experience? Well, I gained confidence that I could write and meet a deadline. I also discovered that I could write a book in a month if I set my mind to it. The hardest part for me was not editing the text as I went along. This is one of the rules. Editing is scheduled for the month of December. So if you make mistake just continue on.
What was the best part of participating in NaNoWritMo? The 50,000 word novel I completed.
A lot of people asked me what I did with the novel once I wrote it. Well the answer is after editing it in December 2009 I submitted it to a publisher and was awarded a contract. Last week I got my first royalty check for it. Not bad for just thirty days of doing what I love to do best…writing.
So doing the month of November I will keep you inform on how I’m doing.
Blog more later, and oh yeah, Happy Halloween.