Wednesday, October 31, 2007

National Novel Writing Month


NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. One month dedicated to writing - the goal is 50,000 words in a month - which occurs each November. The purpose is to get as many writers together with the goal of writing a novel, or the beginnings of a novel, with the support of other writers who know how easy it is to be distracted, to fall into Writer's Block, who understand that the novelist can find any possible excuse to not write, and push, badger, and cajole them to write regardless of temptations elsewhere.

November 2005 was my first attempt at this and I failed to write 50,000 words. In fact what I ended up with was more a mish-mash of scenes and snippets that I saved them only to use in other works. Last year, 2006, I managed to pass the 50,000 word mark. For my efforts I got a nice little image which resides in my sidebar, and the satisfaction of knowing I finished. What I had was not sufficient for a novel, but I will find uses for it later on. In fact it will be used as a prequel to "Benning's War", my first published novel, and will form what I expect to be a trilogy of sorts. This month's exercise will be focused on the sequel, which I'm calling "Harry's War", for now. I've done a bit of research for this and I expect to get some decent prose written in the next month.

And that's the point of NaNoWriMo: to write! No editing, no feedback, no second-guessing. The participants will write and worry about the editing later on. It's the editing, after all, that can squelch the creative process by stopping it in its tracks while the writer plays around with eliminating adverbs, fixing spelling errors, removing anachronisms, and so on. All that detail-style work lets the creative juices dry up and blow away. As one successful writer has said, you write the first draft start to finish. And when it's done you put it away and forget it for a time. Then you go back and read it from the start and fix the obvious problems.

NaNo Participant 2007NaNo is all about that first draft. And with a goal of only 50,000 words, you're not looking at a modern novel, in length, anyway. That makes for a very thin book.

In our part of the NaNo forums we have a "room" for WVU and F2K members, and right now I think we're running at eleven participants. That may grow in a few days. And that's great! The more the merrier, eh?

Anyway, that's what's on my plate for the next month. So if this blog is updated less than normal - and I post infrequently already, as you all know - then you have an idea why. I will surf my favorite blogs, no matter what, but I hope I can concentrate on my novel rather than the ephemera of the Blogosphere for a time.

Wish me luck!

A Note:
I may be giving an "Author's Talk" at the Tarpon Springs Library in a month or so. Wow! Seems they hold these now and then, and since my book is one their shelves - Yay! - my own Mom spoke to somebody there about the book, and that person suggested doing a talk. So we'll see. Could be fun, could be scary, could be a huge fiasco. But it's a way to talk up my book and maybe sell a few copies. I'll let you know when I find out. Wheeeeee!


Brooke said...

Good luck again this year, and good luck at "the talk!"

How awesome!

benning said...

Thanks, Brooke. That "talk" makes me nervous already and I haven't even spoken with the woman yet. Yikes!