Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Do you know what this is? It's a take-off on NaNoWriMo. Anyone know what that is? Me neither!! Or, at least, I didn't until about 10 days ago. NaNoWriMo is a short form of National Novel Writing Month. This is an event that takes place every November where people all over the country take a pledge to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. This event is the brainchild of Chris Baty, who wrote this book:
I hadn't heard of this until I was reading the Happiness Project, when the author decided to take this pledge. She wrote a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. The moment I read this, I knew I wanted to do it. I'm not someone who thinks of myself as a writer. I don't have the dream of moving to an attic in Paris, spending my days writing, drinking coffee and wandering the banks of the Seine. But, Gretchen Rubin essentially described this as a brainiac's marathon, and that appealed to me right away. Also, she suggested (unrelated to novel writing) that people are happier who spend some of their time doing things that appealed to them as children. When I was a kid, I used to write stories. It clicked for me: novel writing it is.

I read this portion of the Happiness Project on June 2. I went to the library to get Baty's book that afternoon and started writing that night. I'm now on track to be done with it on June 30. Baty's proposal is to write 1,667 words each day for 30 days. I'm hoping to give you periodic updates here on the blog. I was able to catch up, having missed June 1. I also had some extra free time this week

One week in, things are going pretty well. According to the book, the second week is the most difficult and I'm a little worried going into it, especially because I expect to be busy at work throughout this week. (I'm not generally writing at work, for those who are curious, but I typically write when I get home. That will be more difficult if I get home late or am too wiped out to write for an hour).

I was worried when I started about the fact that I didn't have an idea where I was going. I kept reminding myself, no plot, no problem! And I had a few different ideas that have now sort of coalesced into a story line. In fact, I came far enough on that this week that I actually wrote down an outline of the setbacks and successes my protagonist will encounter. It's subject to change, of course, but I'm pleased that I came this far already.

I was also worried when I began writing on June 2 because there are some preparatory steps Baty recommends. He suggests having some thoughts about your characters, and making two lists: things you like in novels and things you don't like. These are sort of the commandments for what to do and not to do while writing your work. I didn't have the time to do this because I got into it a little late. Theoretically, I could have spent some time preparing and waited to start writing. However, my approach works better with my schedule. I'm still considering spending some time writing out my Do and Don't lists, but I haven't decided to dedicate the time to that just yet. Writing out the outline has reinvigorated my excitement about writing. So, for now, I'm focusing on that. I may make the lists eventually, we'll have to see. Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment