November is National Novel Writing Month, often referred to using the rather strange abbreviation NaNoWriMo. The whole idea behind NaNoWriMo is that participants (anyone can participate!) attempt to write a complete 50,000+ word novel, beginning to end, over the course of the 30 days.
In addition, there are a lot of NaNoWriMo events, workshops, and communities to support the participating writers. You can find out more on the NaNoWriMo website.
It is quite a popular event. This is the fifteenth year it’s been going on, and this year, so far, there are over 250,000 people doing it (at least, 250,000 who pledged to do it on the NaNoWriMo website – there are likely many people just trying it on their own without officially signing up).
The whole idea behind it is that lots of people want to write a book at some point in their lives. They say that everybody has a book in them. However, few people actually do write it. Some just can’t make the time, others just can’t get the motivation to start. Having actually written a novel (albeit an unpublished one), I know that getting started is the most difficult part. Once you get the first few chapters written, the rest generally come easier.
The deadline provides some motivation to start, however, at the same time, there’s rule 81: deadlines reduce quality. Somebody who participates in NaNoWriMo must write, write, write, and review and revise it later. Writing 50,000 words is no small feat. It took me a year to write the first draft of the 100,000+ word Cromm Conspiracy, though that was because I was reading sections over and revising them pretty extensively while I was writing. Plus, I did have a couple brief fits of writer’s block that slowed me down for a few weeks, and I started Evaira during that time too.
However, I don’t think 50,000 words in one month is entirely unfeasible, if you were to simply write the words down in November, and save all but the most critical revisions for December. This apparently works, NaNoWriMo novels have been published before. However, that isn’t really my writing style. I may, however, try writing this way to see if it can work for me in a future NaNoWriMo.
So, yeah, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, though I do have plans to start my next novel sometime before the end of the month.
Normally, I’d encourage anybody with a story idea to try it, but the first three days of the month are already past, so you’d be at a disadvantage. Plus, you’d have zero real planning time. However, you can always start planning for next year now! The extra planning time will certainly help.
I may have my reservations about the idea of writing that quickly, but I definitely agree strongly with their mission. To anybody who wants to write a novel, or at least a short story, do it! Just go in and do it!
You may not think your story is any good, but you won’t know until you’ve written it. Even if you think the story is crap, or your best friend tells you it’s no good, there’s a chance other people will disagree. If you have a story idea, the single worst thing you can do would be not to write it down. If you take it with you to the grave, you’d be denying other people the opportunity to enjoy it and be positively influenced by it. Not sharing your stories and ideas with the world is just plain selfish.
Well, now that I’m done my motivational speaking, I’ve got to go plan one of my own stories, and write something I might post in December. To those of you who are writing your novels this month, good luck! To everybody else, this is White Rakogis, signing off until Friday.