November is National Novel Writing Month, wherein a lot of crazy people attempt to draft a novel in a single month. Or, rather, the goal is 50,000 words, which isn’t a long novel, but it’s a heck of a good start on one. This year there are over 180,000 people from all over the world signed up on the official WEB site.
I heard about this challenge last year, and thought it was a crazy idea. Who wants that kind of pressure in their life? That’s over a thousand words a day! Actually, it’s an average of 50,000/30, or holy molly, that’s a lot! I can do that once in a while, but to keep it going for a whole month is ridiculous. Right? But then I realized that I often draft 1300+ words for a Golden Threads chapter, and sometimes I write three of those in a single night, so I can do it, if I want to.
The big question for me was, why? And do I want to? Last year, I was immersed in redrafting, and couldn’t imagine putting aside the current project to beat myself to a pulp drafting something new. That was before I realized how much fun everyone seems to have doing this challenge, and also before I decided to strip a character out of Naked Lobster, and hated leaving her story behind, and a bunch of writers I met online declared their intention to do this challenge, all of which is a long-winded way of saying that I registered for this free event.
One of the best things to come out of this registration, and the event hasn’t even started, is the discovery of a NaNoWriMo community right here in Central Oregon. I haven’t counted, but there are at least ten of us. We’re setting up events to get together and write. I’ve already met with two of them. Meeting other writers is a trip, especially when I discover that we share many of the same concerns. I’ve also teamed up to support and be supported by writers I met through the StoryCartel course.
You don’t really win anything for getting to 50,000 words, and it’s all on the honor system, but who cares? I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when I start writing on November first. I have done some background work, but I rather hope the story takes on a life of its own and flies. If it doesn’t, I hope that I won’t be too disappointed. I’m certain I will be a better writer by the end. Writing is one of those skills where the only way to truly improve is to do it (don’t worry, I have my trusty writing books on my desk already and another good thing about NaNoWriMo appears to be incredible support for writers give each other, with forums on everything from technique to background research to tips on staying healthy).
What about you? Are you a writer? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Leave a comment and let me know how it’s going.
Oh, and I managed to post another chapter of Golden Threads before the craziness starts. It’s here. When we left Laura and Matthew last, he was being approached by Zeke and his gang. Find out if they drive him out of the meeting.
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