It’s that time of the year again when thoughts start to turn to NaNoWriMo.
For those new to NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month (see what they did there?), and takes place in November of each year. The premise is startlingly simple:
You start on November 1st and finish at midnight on November 30th. In those 30 days, you write 50,000 words.
“Fifty thousand?” I hear you cry. “Isn’t that like totally a lot?”
Yes. Yes it is. And stop shouting, please..
That’s kind of the whole point. You’ve got thirty days. You need to be averaging 1,666-and-a-bit words per day, so you don’t have time to edit (well, assuming you’ve got other things to do other than write). It’s all about getting that first draft out of your head. Write first, edit later.
(First drafts, by the way, are supposed to suck. That’s the law. You can check if you like.)
Anyway, I did NaNoWriMo last year, and for the first time ever (I’ve tried it several times before), I went over that magic 50,000 word mark.
Not only that, I finished a day early. *polishes winner’s medal*
There were points in the process of writing it where I was literally laughing at how bad it was. The grand plot and character that I’d started on day one sort of fizzled out by day three as I moved over to see some action over *there*. I realised on day… fifteen? sixteen? that the character I’d based the whole story plan around hadn’t been seen for two weeks. I wrote her back in, decided that I didn’t really like her much, and wrote her back out again. These other guys? Doing all the cool stuff over *here*? Far more interesting.
So, it was an experience. It completely drained all of the writing mojo I had though, and I’ve not really written anything much since. I picked up last year’s NaNo recently and started re-reading it. I was surprised that bits of it didn’t actually suck quite as badly as I’d remembered, and bits of it actually sounded like I knew what I was doing. Other bits sounded like someone else had written them.
These were clearly the post-midnight caffeine-fuelled sections. You tend to get a lot of them.
I’ve not decided if I’m doing NaNo again this year. I quite fancy the challenge, but also fancy doing something a bit different.
Watch this space.
4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo approaches”
I’m probably not remembering this accurately (or actually checking your old posts, bad me) but was that the story set on sentient spaceships and lots of cool happenings with the AI personality and such? Because that sounded really fun.
cor, well remembered! That was exactly the one. The ship’s AI went a bit loopy (long story) and reverted to the persona of a teenage girl. A very stroppy one. With assorted weaponry at her command.
It didn’t end well for a lot of the crew.
Always hoped that you’d release bits of that for reading, it sounded some good sci-fi there.
Anyway, good luck with writing some more things when the mojo allows!
It needs a good edit, but there’s definitely a story in there. I might see if I can find some bits which I can post up here.