International Novel Writing Month, really… anyhow.
Today is November 1st! This means that many (many? well, it seems like many to me) individuals are hunkering down over the writing-method-of-choice, trying to craft a novel (of at least 50,000 words) in a month.
For those of us participating it can be a bit of a crazy time. For those who live or socialize with those of us participating in it…. I bet it can be a bit of a frustrating time. “What do you mean you can’t…?” “How can it take you an hour to write 200 words, and then 20 minutes to write 1,000?” “Can you stop that typing already?” “For someone who is supposed to be writing you are spending an awful lot of time on social media…” “That’s great, that your Main Character has spent the past 200 words describing in detail her latest relationship challenge, it sounds very interesting…however, I just wanted to know what you wanted for dinner….”
There really is no logic to how NaNo works — at least, not for me. Some years I have all the time in the world, and can’t get my 50,000 written. Other years I am busy (like in 2012 when I was writing and researching for my thesis) but still manage to get over 50k words.
This year I’m trying something completely new for me. I’m completing a Novel that I started a few years back. My plan is to end up with a completed story. A story that might be unwieldy and problematic, but it will be complete, and then … then I can start editing. And revising. And re-writing. I could complete the draft of the novel any month, it’s true. But I set my goal to do so this month for a reason.
This is the first time I’m working on a story that has so much written already (25k), so long ago (my attempt at NaNo in ..2006 I think), and have a complete outline for. I know where this story is going, I know the bumps that are going to be encountered on the way, I know how it ends.
Normally I start from nothing, I begin to write with no idea where the story is going, what has happened to the characters before, or what I will encounter along the way. So working from an outline… this is somewhat daunting.
And that is the reason I’ve chosen to do this during NaNo.
NaNo is about community. Yes, it’s a time to try to write, but there are all these other people entering into their own version of this madness. People who come together, in person and through social media. Writing can be a very solitary activity, so a time when we all can come together to lend support, commiseration, and a bit of a push.
So I’m NaNo-ing, and planning to include the occasional related post on this blog (though I have no plans to flood the blog with them!) I’ll be somewhat active on Twitter (especially with @NaNoWordSprints I find those to be so helpful!) I’d love to connect with other people over there!
I also will be doing some posts on my facebook…. and, of course, trying to write! And write, and write and write. It is a month of no edits!
My biggest challenge is going to be time management, I think. Working full time, with an hour-and-a-half commute (one in which I am often either too crowded-in, or too asleep, to be able to write), and a big family Thanksgiving (the biggest that this particular household has ever seen) will provide some spectacular obstacles.
I am up to the challenge though, I’ve put a lot on this… I need to complete this draft this month to be on the schedule I’ve set myself for this year…
Wish me luck!
Anyone else participating? What do you think your largest challenges will be?