National Novel Writing Month 2016 is here! If you’ve been itching to write that Great Novel then this is the month to do it. You know you want to. Just sit down and pound out 1,667 words and you’re on your way. Don’t have an outline? Don’t worry. Be a pantser and make it up as you go. Spontaneity is good too. Check out the website or writing.com inspiration or support. Everything is at your fingertips there.
Leave me a comment if you’re getting started. Maybe this can become a mega-thread for participants.
Writers, it’s that time of the year again. NaNoWriMo (say that three times really fast) or National Novel Writing Month begins next month. Do you have a novel locked inside and just can’t get it out? Then NaNoWriMo is for you. For those who know nothing about it, you spend 30 straight days pounding out a novel from beginning to end. How do you write a novel in 30 days? Well, badly of course. The point is to get the idea out of you head and on the medium of your choice. Organizers set the word minimum at 50,000 although you certainly are free to go over. NaNoWriMo is not a contest in which you submit a story and win a prize although you do race to the 50,000 word finish line with yourself and/or writing buddies. What you win is the satisfaction of having produced a draft novel. It’s doable! Just pledge to yourself to type 1,667 words a day and you’re there.
October is usually prep month in which writers mull over characters, solidify plots and prepare outlines. But if you don’t have enough time and hate outlining, you can be a pantser but sitting down and writing free form through inspiration. I’ve done it both ways. Several years ago I started late and wrote a 30,000 word story starring Marion and Guy of Gisborne that was pure pantsing. Two years later I used an outline for a 51,000 word psychological thriller. With fine editing assistance, I posted the Guy story for Christmas that year on my blog. However like most first drafts, the thriller was simply dreadful and has not seen the light of day. Still, at its center is a good story. So this year I will rewrite it into something hopefully readable and worth editing.
So join me at NaNoWriMo.org and let’s start writing! If you have any questions and need more gentle *cough* persuasion, comment below.
NaNoWriMo 2012 starts today. For the next 30 days, me, ElsaF, Trinalin, and thousands of others will attempt to churn out a 50,000 word novel. I’m a bit apprehensive, having only a hazy plot, no character names, and no opening scene. I do have a genre: Mystery/Psychological/Thriller; a location: London; a period; contemporary; and a protagonist who may or maybe not remind you of a certain person. *Cough.*
The organizers emphasize that this all about getting the words out. There is no over-thinking, no editing, and no rewriting, unless the author has spare time after pounding out 50,000 words. Coherency is not required, although it would be helpful for everybody concerned. If the result turns out to be a diamond, it can be offered up for publicity and hopefully published by a real publishing house. I harbor no such delusion, but hope to churn out at least a 30,000 word story fit to read. I don’t recall needing extensive rewriting on last year’s story (Thanks Servetus and Elsa!), but then it was a much shorter piece. I’ll install a word count widget and keep you posted on the project. Maybe ElsaF and Trinalin can also send along updates on their experiences.
My writing begins after work tonight.
For those of you considering this, you can start and stop at any time. Sign up at the site and jump right in. C’mon and join us. You know you want to.
Bonny the Shih Tzu poses at the film premiere. No spoiled lapdogs were harmed in the making of this film.
Today Elsa and I saw Seven Psychopaths about a screenwriter trying to draft a plot surrounding the title. Oh yeah, he also inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu. It’s one of the most wacky and innovative films I’ve seen in a while. I spent most of the movie marveling over the imagination of the screenwriter, Martin McDonagh. I highly recommend this film if you don’t mind a bit of blood. The violence isn’t really gratuitous; it’s just the way things are. You’ll understand when you see it. I highly recommend it.
The plot particularly fascinated me because of a plot I’ve been outlining for this year’s NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, hopefully something coherent and readable. Last year, I wrote in 10 days the Guy/Marian story, The Chest, posted later over Christmas week. This year I’m aiming for 1,500 to 2,000 words a day. So many words means I need a plot to keep the flow going. So, I’m dreaming up a mystery/psychological story. As usual, it’s becoming a bit complicated but I can never do anything by half. How do I jump from not blogging for weeks to writing 1,500 words a day you ask? Good question. I’ll keep you updated.
November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. It challenges any writer, including you, to sit down at keyboard and dedicate the month to writing 50,000 words, preferably as a novel, in 30 days. It doesn’t have to be polished or even coherent. (You conceivably can type one word 50,000 times). The purpose is to get people in the swing of writing. NaNoWriMo has a website where you can register your word count progress each day and see if you’re on track to meet the goal. As you might imagine, churning out a 50,000 word novel requires concentrated dedication. To stay on track and possible win at the end of the month, you must average about 1,666 words or a day or 3 1/2 pages doublespaced.
NaNoWriMo has been an internet creative project since 1999. Each year when it was publicized, I thought it sounded interesting but year after year went by and I never participated either because I heard about it too late or felt daunted by the idea of 50,000 words. This year my fanfic series happened to coincide with this year’s project. What better way, friends pointed out, to break your writer’s block than NaNoWriMo?
So I registered and then panicked. Not one to cheat typing gibberish, I needed a plot, but plotting was my main stumbling block. I moaned and procrastinated for five days, not writing a single word. My kingdom for a plot! Desperate, I turned to my old beta reader and plotter extraordinaire. She can reel off a plot in less than 2 minutes without thinking hard. Look, she said. Think about a goal, create obstacles to accomplishing that goal, and then find the solutions to those obstacles. Easy peasy! Okaaay.
For the conclusion of my series on fanfic writing, I wrote a standalone scene. If you read the Foolish Friday Fan fic post last week, then you know what one I mean. Since I usually don’t care for scenes without plots, I wanted to write a story around it. Hence, my story for NaNoWriMo was born. So on the 6th day, I sat down to write and instantly stalled. What was my first sentence? Where was this story starting? No problem, the NaNoWriMo forums had openers you could adopt and take home. So I adopted one. It turned out to be not everything I wanted but it did help jumpstart the opening paragraph.
Over two days, I pounded out over 8,000 words, no mean feat with a short attention span right now. I spent 70% of the time daydreaming and 30% actually typing. It gave me a taste of how things can be when Winston finally comes to heel. I concocted a semblance of a plot, wrote in the standalone scene and sat back. The result was – a lot of words. Seriously, the result was an uneven story, but a real recognizable story nevertheless. Since the goal requires I keep going, there isn’t much time for polishing the rough edges. The chance of reaching 50,000 words is nil; I will be happy to hit 25,000. I’ve never written a 25,000 word story in my life. So I’m certain to finish the month with a sense of having chipped away a bit at my writer’s block. Another mark for creativity, yes!