Wednesday, November 5, 2008

National Novel Writing Month 2008

I wrote this post intending to publish it this past weekend, but then I had hard drive problems. But since I've already written this one, I wanted to publish it anyway. I'm writing the story that came to me this week at my son's Orchestra Concert and not the one I had outlined, but if I get totally stumped I may switch back. We'll see how things go.

So, here is the original post.

It's that time of year again. November. National Novel Writing Month.

In case you've never heard of it, you can go here and get a full and complete run down. The short rundown is that it's a challenge to write 50,000 words in thirty days, from November 1st to November 30th. I learned about it for the first time the year before last, but it was already November 22nd, so I didn't get involved. Last year I did it and won, I completed 50,000 words before November 30th. That was a great high, but the best thing about it was finding the community of writers.

NaNo, which is the shortened version of the name, has a very diverse website with many forums in which to chat with other writers, both local and not. There are meetups throughout the month where NaNo writers get together at local coffee shops, libraries, and anywhere else that has power and places to sit for hours on end. There's no obligation to go to a meet up, but I highly recommend it.

I also learned that I write much better if I don't worry about editing mistakes as I go along. NaNo is really about getting the words out and not worrying about the spelling mistakes and exact phrasing. That is for after the first draft. It really freed up my writing and my imagination. Even if you don't finish 50,000 words in 30 days, I recommend joining and giving it a shot. It can be a lot of fun.

I'm looking forward to this year's NaNo. I wrote an outline for a story, the second in a series I'm writing, but another story has popped up and now I'm not sure which one I'll write. Last year I had one idea but when it came time to write another story flowed out of nowhere. It's currently my favorite story of the ones I've written. We'll see what happens come November 1st. Care to join me?


spyscribbler said...

Oh cool, another NaNo-er! I've joined. I'm hoping it will get me back in the swing of things after the election!

Virginia Lady said...

It's working for me, even with all my other activities. I'm over 14K words so far! Woot!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work and thanks for the encouragement about outlines! The story is really taking off.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Good luck! I couldn't do it. Too much pressure. LOL!

Virginia Lady said...

Thanks for visiting, Kevin! My story is really moving, I only hope it's in a good direction. Good Luck with your project!

Thanks, Jennifer! I don't really see it as pressure. I see it as an excuse to put most of my other responsibilities aside for a bit. Unfortunately, this year I have some extra problems to deal with that I can't avoid. Still, things are going well, amazingly so thus far.

BernardL said...

Anything which motivates your writing is well worth the effort. It seems to be working for you on the excitement level too. Good luck with your project.

Leigh Russell said...

I agree, deadlines can be very motivating! Hope it goes well for you.

I had a hard drive failure the day before my MS was due to go off to the editor.

I back up obsessively. It's the only way.

Virginia Lady said...

Thanks Bernard. I am enjoying the story as it evolves.

I agree about backing everything up, Leigh, which was why I only lost the one document. Things could have been a lot worse.