Happy Tuesday, folks, Doris here 🙂
As the title says, let’s talk NaNoWriMo. In case you’re not familiar with the acronym, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and happens every November.
To quote the site itself:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.
I can see you rolling your eyes and scratching your heads now. Why on earth would you want to do that, and is it even possible?
I can assure you it is indeed possible. I have participated in Nano for the last six years and won five of them. All six novels are now published books, so, yes, you can do it, and you can produce a publishable novel. Just don’t go and rush that first draft off to your publisher on December 1st, will you. Make sure you fix all your mistakes and that it actually makes sense. 🙂
Easy for you to say, I hear you say. You write fast, and you’re a seasoned writer now, so yours would make sense. Hmm, okay check what I said up there. I first joined in six years ago. I’ve only been published five come this November.
I well recall the first time I attempted this. It seemed an insurmountable task, but several of my writing friends signed up and I thought to myself, “Well, why not. No doubt, I fail, but hey. I’ll have given it a go.”
All I knew before I started on November 1st was, that my hero was a firefighter and that he would meet my heroine in Amsterdam, where she was on a hen do weekend. She had to approach him for a dare and ask him for his boxers.
That was it.
I had decided to blog about my endeavours and I would post a new chapter every day.
With some trepidation, I sat down to write, and you know what…. something magical happened. Whether it was the fact that my friends were eagerly waiting for every new chapter, or the thought that the world over clueless folks like me were sitting down at the keyboard attempting to do this thing, or the various stats and the handy word counter, which works wonders for my motivation… who knows.
I suspect it was a combination of everything of the above and the fact I discovered that I am indeed a panster. I write best when I have no clue what’s going to happen. I love the thrill of discovering what happens next along with my characters, and I tell you that was a real revelation for me.
I also learned that I need to listen to my characters. They are always right, and no matter what crazy thing they throw at me, it’ll come right in the end.
And that, for me at least, is the magic of Nano. You have to tell your inner editor to take a freaking hike and simply write.
Don’t agonize over it. Just see where those characters take you and hang on for the ride. And what a ride it will be, especially the first time you do it.
Worry about it all making sense when Nano is over, but you might well surprise yourself, and even if you don’t. If you feel you’ve written the biggest drivel ever known to literature… that’s 50,000 words you didn’t have before and some of them, at least, will be salvageable.
And if you don’t win it? What then?
Well, then you take however many words you did manage to write and see where they take you after the event. They are x amount of words you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
I didn’t win Nano the second year I did it. I had a brand new baby, edits, and two releases that month, one of them my debut novel, so in retrospect, it wasn’t surprising that I didn’t manage to finish. I did write just over 36,000 words though and finished that story off later, so I still classed that as a win for me.
I am, of course, once again participating this year, and I’m looking forward to see what will happen. If you want to join me, become my buddy here.
Go on, go for it. What have you got to lose?
That’s all from me today.
Do stay naughty, folks.