Every year for the past… gosh… is it 8? Let me see… hmm, seem to have lost my execrable first one… second one is dated 03 so yeah, must be 8 years now… I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). The rules are simple: you write a novel, in November. “Novel” defined as “50,000 words”. That’s it. No “50,000 quality words” or “50,000 words that sing for joy like an ode to a hummingbird”. (See? I’m practicing already). It comes to 1,667 per day if you write every day, or around 3 pages. You can write anything you want, although the “rules” say you should not just add to an existing work. Sequels, prequels, alternate tellings are all viable.
What do you get? A neat certificate you can print out yourself, a feeling of accomplishment, and 50,000 words written on paper. Of my attempts, let’s see. Years 1 and 4 were utterly, utterly dreck-y. Year 2 I have visions of salvaging as a young adult novel. Year 3, I can at least read without wincing. Year 6 I failed – I was pregnant, we were moving from Iowa to Florida, yadda-yadda. Sad face. Year 7, last year, was unremarkable. Had one or two good bits. Mostly awful.
Ah, but Year 5… now that story, I like. I look at it now and then. Poke a little. Had it beta-read. One of these days I’m going to seriously edit that puppy. And Submit It. Maybe 2011.
This year? No idea what I’m going to write, how far I’ll get, but I’ll start. Hopefully Cataclysm drops late enough in the month that I have a good momentum going and finish the story off. Because some years NaNo is the only serious writing I do. It takes me out of my “I don’t have anything to write”, or “I have writer’s block” self-pity and makes me just plain write. I love it.
So if you’re a someday-novelist, join Reversion and me in November (I’m pretty sure a lot of bloggers already do NaNo) as we wait for Cataclysm.
Oh. Did I mention. Fanfiction is ok… so is now is the time to write the epic tale of your Blood Elf Paladin’s singlehandledly saving the world?