Monday, October 26, 2009
If you are just the right kind of insane, this time next week you will have turned your back on your normal social life and spare time activities in favour of the pursuit of writing a novel in thirty days.
For those who have never heard of Nanowrimo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and it takes place throughout November. The goal is to write fifty thousand words by midnight on November 30th. Bind and gag your inner editor and lock him in a closet. Remove the backspace key from your keyboard. The aim is not quality but quantity. Come December you can edit until your heart is content but November is the time to write without abandon.
I first discovered Nanowrimo in 2005. At that stage in the month it was too late for me to really get in to it so I waited a year to try my first Nanowrimo attempt. To be perfectly honest, I failed miserably in both 2006 and 2007. In 2008 I decided to skip Nano and focus on wrapping up my TAFE course with good marks instead. But this year I plan to attempt it yet again. I have attempted to increase my chances of success by doing some planning and research ahead of time. I've managed to plan out a [sarcasm]whopping[/sarcasm] three chapters so far and have somehow found myself reading up on the Yucatan Asteroid and the Gaia Hypothesis. Hopefully I'll make a bit more planning progress before November comes.
The Nano website is also home to a wonderful community who will provide you writing challenges and dares, word wars, support, and of course some very important procrastination. This year expect pep talks from authors such as Tamora Pierce (!!!), Kristin Cashore, and Peter Carey to grace you email inbox.
Do not be fooled by the word "national" either. Nanowrimo is very much an international event but I guess Nanowrimo sounds catchier than Inanowrimo. Take a look and see how many Nano'ers are active in your region. You may find kick off events and write-ins taking place somewhere nearby that you can attend.
This year I am working with a new writing program called StoryBox. It's still being updated and tweaked but I absolutely recommend that you try it out. It's great for planning your novel as well. It's free to download the complete program. Paying for the program is your choice. Take a look at the StoryBox website here.
Regardless of whether or not you achieve fifty thousand words or one hundred, Nanowrimo is a great event and I think that everyone should try it at least once in their lifetime.
You can learn more about National Novel Writing Month and sign up to join the madness at nanowrimo.org. My username there is JellieBeanie if anyone should wish to say hi.