Novel writing by NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is coming up soon.

No…it’s not a new word by Daniel. It’s National Novel Writing Month, which starts in November. For all you non-writers out there, this is an event that dates back to 1999 where writers all over the world plunk their butts down and crank out a 50,000 novel in 30 days. There’s a website where you can log in your daily word counts, and if you finish, you get a spiffy web banner saying you wrote a novel in 30 days. Granted, when the organizers mean write, they actually mean just churning out a bunch of stuff without going back to edit anything. So basically, you start out writing trash, but the goal is to finish something, which will spur you on after the month to edit the entire mess and, hopefully, get something out by the end of the year.

I’ve never done it before (in fact, I only heard about it last year). But even if I did decide to do it, it doesn’t count for works-in-progress. They encourage you to start from scratch with a new story. Even if you don’t finish that story, the goal is still to churn out 50,000 words by the end of November.

No way am I going to start a new novel. I’ve barely got enough on my plate with Willow and the short stories and essays that I’m working on. And add Daniel watching to the mix, and that pretty much fills my platter.

However, I have been thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to just focus on Willow for an entire month?

Currently, I write about 1000 to 1500 words a night on Willow (usually starting around 10pm and finishing (roughly) around midnight). That’s roughly a chapter per week. If I did decide to use the NaNoWriMo premise, I will have to up my word count so that I’m writing 2000 words per day. That’s roughly no problem–it means writing Willow in the daytime when Daniel takes his nap as opposed using that time for short stories/essays. But that also includes weekends and holidays.

Hmmm….that would mean that if I want to participate, I may need to cut down on some of my writing projects. But I did a little organization of my writing projects, and I think it can be done. At this point of time, I’m working on two essays which are due at the end of the month, and three short stories. One story is due in the middle of November, one can be submitted by December, and another doesn’t have a market yet, so I can finish it whenever.

If I set a goal to get those essays and at least one of those stories done by October, I can easily set November as my focus on Willow. And it will be a good time to get ahead. I know most of the story by heart–I just got to crank it out. The only things to worry about it sudden surprises that come up in the story, which might throw me off a bit (and it does happen–a character that I thought would die somehow decided that, no, he will live–throwing off what I’d planned for one of the main characters. But I’m pretty excited to see what he’ll do now). And writing 50,000 words is a drop in the bucket compared to the goal of writing at the most 1,000,000 words.

And yes, I’m well aware that this takes place in November, when I usually start stressing out about Thanksgiving, and which house are we going to go to, and how will my mother’s new husband fit in when we go to Grandma’s, and if my inlaws decide to come to Chicago and stay near us for a month….

Actually…the more I think about it, the more I think November’s an excellent time to hide–er, to work on my novel.

So let the record show: I’m going to do NaNoWriMo next month. Lord help us all…

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3 Responses

  1. You are my hero! Writing 1000 words or so at night? I’m stuck at the beginning.

    I did do a crude outline but it’s all after getting to my special spot where they start off.

    Anyway, wanted to say hi and that you’re doing a great job!

  2. Good luck with NaNoWriMo. I will be participating too. I did it last year and it was a blast. Just turn off the inner critic and go.

    Best wishes to you that you will reach 50,000 words,

    Sara

  3. Thanks! I’m looking forward to doing it. Good luck to you too!

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