Friday, October 24, 2008

NaNoWriMo or Bust!

In 8 short, quickly moving days I will try my second attempt at National Novel Writing Month. Participants in NaNoWriMo begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

From the website:

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

The fact that somewhere in the vicinity of 99,000 other foolish souls are in this with you helps a lot.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

I tried this last year. I had hit my Stumble Upon button on November 5th and came across the website. I enthusiastically thought, "No preparation necessary? Write like a maniac even if it doesn't make sense? This has my name written all over it!" I got to 7,500 words. My friend AstroJones and I had started a website called Scribe Asylum, which was like a MySpace for writers. We decided to co-opt the idea. We started a challenge called Resolution One: One Month, One Novel. When I tried that novel, I acheived 12,000 words. My goal is to "win" this Nano, but honestly, I'd be happy with 25k.

Wanna join me in this ridiculousness? My user page is here. Make sure you add me as a Writing Buddy. Wanna just watch me suffer? Check in here from time to time. I have a widget in the right hand column that should tell you how I'm doing. It's supposed to tell you my name also, but right now it just says "participant." I'm going by the name of Blinky in honor of my late, great cat (right). We'll see if the widget gets more efficient once November kicks off. Knowing that you, my readers, will be seeing how badly I'm doing should be the impetus for keeping me plugging away. So, you know, uh, thanks for that in advance.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That'll take guts. Good luck in your writing!