November means NaNoWriMo!
I’ve gotten that question a few times in the past week. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. It has nothing to do with Mork & Mindy and Mork’s famous tagline.
The basic premise is that you write every day in the month of November and end up with a novel of 50,000 words. That breaks down to 1667 words written per day which sounds a lot less intimidating.
The program has been in existence since 1999 so obviously there are a lot of people that participate willingly and have some fun throughout the process. And let me emphasize some when we are talking the about fun part.
I have watched from the sidelines since I first started seeing it talked about. Sure it sounded interesting but did I really want to do that?
It turns out that this year was the year I decided it would be an interesting experience. So in the last week of October, I spent time outlining a few different ideas and putting real names and descriptions to the characters I have thought about for years.
Where will this end up? I’m not sure at all. I’ve been writing everyday and it’s been a fun/interesting experience. I have always loved to read but actually working out your own process makes you appreciate the books you read even more.
Writing is hard work. It’s also a mind game where your creative brain spends a lot of time making plot pieces fit together like puzzle pieces while the logical side of your brain tells you that there is a missing piece and what a bad idea this was in the first place.
Remember the some fun part from earlier? This is precisely the some part that I was talking about.
I enjoy writing so why not add in a challenge to mix it up?
Why not? I’ll let you know on December 1st.
In the meantime, I’ll be writing. And when I’m not I’ll be enjoying the books I am reading. Because when you are paying attention to plot structure and characters when you write, you pay even better attention to what a seasoned author has done with their characters and their own plot.
For me, this alone makes NaNoWriMo worth it because I’m enjoying the books I read that much more.
As for the rest – I’ll just have to see where it goes.
Until then, while I write, here are a few big novels to come out of NaNoWriMo in past years:
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
and Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell
… just to name a few.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo or have you in the past?