Well, I’ve done it. It’s not as crazy as it would have been for me to try it last year, but I’ve signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The gist of it is to write at least 50,000 words of a novel from scratch, between November 1 and November 30. It means turning off the internal editor and undoubtedly writing a bunch of stuff that will get thrown away upon editing later, but the initial result is to have the story down on paper.
While some people plan as much of the plot and characters as they can, I’m starting with a very fluid idea of a character (13-y.o. girl), a setting (Oregon and horses), and several directions the story might go. And several possible characters that may or may not be included. I’ve probably got 3 stories worth of plot ideas, but I figure one will sort itself out to be dominant and the others will get saved for another book.
I’ve wanted to use this first chunk of Ireland writing time to get away from plot-driven stories and write one from the characters and just let it go where it wants. Where it wants that’s interesting anyway. But I guess I’m too goal-oriented, because I haven’t been able to make myself do much, and that’s where NaNoWriMo will help. I hope. Lots of fun and craziness, pushing yourself, networking with other crazy novelists, and ending up with a huge pile of pages by the end of the month. Except I have guests coming the whole last week of November, so I only have 3 weeks!
Within the NaNo community, there’s also an “All-Ireland Word War,” a contest between the 5 provinces to see who has the highest average words per writer. And I think 50,000 is low for that, but I’m signed up anyway. Maybe if I hit 60K I won’t be pulling Munster down too far. <g> If anyone wants to check on my progress, go to my NaNo profile page. And wish me luck!