Well. National Novel Writing Month is on its way. Again. And this year, I’m going for the gold. For those of you who aren’t familiar with nanowrimo (which is starting to be something of a shock as nanowrimo gets bigger and bigger every year), let me catch you up. Nanowrimo is for those writers who like to think of themselves as good writers, but when they do write, they worry about the quality of the work. They’re convinced that they can write the next great american novel, but whenever they look at their work they get upset because, well, it’s just not living up to what they want it to be. It’s just not good enough. So nanowrimo takes the whole “my writing isn’t good enough” and turns it on its head. Ego and the Internal Editor are told to take a month off. (or in some circles, are told off in an entirely different way).
November becomes a challenge not to write the next great american novel, but to write A novel. A 50,000 word novel, to be precise.
I’ve tried nanowrimo a few times and haven’t won quite yet. This year I plan on winning. 50,000? I’m going to do it. It’ll be a challenge, considering my life doesn’t have much in the way of solid footing at the moment, but I have a computer, I have my characters, and I have 30 days ahead of me to make this happen.
The synopsis for this year’s story:
Is one gig enough to change someone’s life?
When Emily Moore catches an acoustic show by a local singer/songwriter, Lynn Casey, she’s hooked. Not just on the music. Emily decides to see whether her skills in the field of dating and romancing cute girls will transcend to catch Lynn Casey’s attention.
When the two do end up together, decisions are made, maps are checked and soon they’re on the road for a summer on-the-road adventure. Lynn’s determined to get her name known and Emily-well, she’s just out for the adventure.
In a trip fraught with bad motels, bar gigs, and late night gay bar parties, the biggest question is: will the two endure the road together?
Should be a fun story. And if it sounds like a story you’d be interested in reading, don’t be afraid to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask me how I’m doing. If you’re interested in being a nanowrimo writing buddy and exchanging stories, I’d be awesome with that too!
Sometimes I wish I was an outline writer. I think writing a novel for nanowrimo would be much easier if I had an “Okay, at this point event A happens. At that point, event B happens. And oh, right there, character a meets her arch nemesis” and so on. But that’s not how I write.
My process thus far includes characters and a vague idea of potential situations that they can get into. Which, as vague as it is, is really kind of exciting. I can basically take my characters anywhere at this point, and see where the story goes from there.
Plus, in an effort to make sure that I’ll have something, I’ve made potential writing prompts for my story. For example, I have cards that include situations such as: emotional breakdowns, overnight camping, venue managers that are complete assholes, bad gigs, and broken down vehicles. I’m looking forward to using these situations…they’re just not ordered. And where Lynn and Emily will come out in the end…who knows? It’s so up to them at this point.
Some other things I’m going to do to ensure that I make 50k this year:
1)WRITE. Sounds like a little, but I’m so good at procrastinating and so good at putting things off! The daily goal for finishing nanowrimo is 1667, and I plan on attempting to keep up with that.
2)Go to write-in’s. For those who don’t know, nanowrimo is more than you and your computer and the nanowrimo website. For any given city, you’re going to have a lot of people participating in nanowrimo, which inherently gives way to the nanowrimo communities nationwide. Yesterday I went to the SLC nanowrimo kick-off party and had an amazing time and met some pretty rad people. The slc wrimos are a pretty interesting crew. Back in 2007 I was part of nanowrimo:elsewhere crew who met down in the comic bookstore, Dragon’s Keep, in Provo. It was amazing. We had some awesome local authors (brandon sanderson graced our presence!) who visited us and talked about their process.
3)lots of coffee. And possibly lots of chocolate as rewards.
So that’s a little bit of MY process. What about yours? What do you do to keep yourself writing? and for those of you who have participated, what has kept you going?
For those of us participating in nanowrimo madness: Happy noveling! Good luck on your fictional adventures! 🙂