I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month (affectionately known as NaNoWriMo) for the first time this year. Starting today, November 1, I’m joining 255,205 other authors in the race to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I figured that’s about 1700 words a day, but since I usually take Sundays off, I’ll need to do double-time on Saturdays or an extra 300 words the other days of the week.
Here is the 100% Awesome 100% Thorough Guide to NaNoWriMo 2013, and reading it got me pumped and ready to go. Last night I saw a pep talk from the many-times best-selling author James Patterson on the NaNoWriMo site, which is pretty cool. Patterson said maybe it’s not as crazy as it seems—writing a complete novel in 30 days. It’s going to be a challenge, I know, but this is the first time I’ve been open enough this time of year to participate so I’m ready to give it a try. For the past four years, I’ve been knee-deep writing the Loving Husband Trilogy so NaNoWriMo was a no-go for me. This year, the Loving Husband Trilogy happily out in the world, I have an idea for a novel entitled That You Are Here (title courtesy of Leaves of Grass by Uncle Walt Whitman) that I have (most of) a plot for, characters I want to spend time with, some dialogue here and there, and a general outline, so I’m ready to plunge into the 50,000 word challenge. What kind of story is That You Are Here? It’s a love story, basically. I think everything I write ends up being a love story in one way or another. It’s set in the present day, and though I meant to keep history out of it, you know me, and history is going to end up weaved into the story somehow. Even I’m not quite sure how at this point, but I’ll need to squeeze some historical research into my writing time. No vampires or witches this time around.
I’m finishing my writing for this afternoon (I’m ending at 1652 words, not too shabby!), and I’m realizing that 1700 words a day isn’t that much since I usually write 1500 words a day when I’m working on a first draft. Another few hundred words is nothing, right?
To give myself the time I need to get the novel finished by November 30, I’ll be reposting some of the more popular posts I’ve had here. Occasionally, I’ll post short updates on how I’m doing with the challenge, and you can watch me keep track of my progress on the NaNoWriMo widget on the right sidebar here.
I’m not looking at this as overwhelming. This should be fun. I’m excited to see where I am on November 30. I’m going to work to meet the deadline, but I’m not going to fret about it. If I write 1000 words one day instead of 1700, I’m pretty sure the sky won’t fall in. This is simply giving me the push I needed to jump into a story I’ve wanted to tell for a while now. If you want to participate, it’s not too late. Sign up on the NaNoWriMo website and let your fingers do the talking.
Happy NaNoWriMo everyone!