Considering the NaNoWriMo

I have 2 days to consider officially joining the National November Writing Month. It’s a mighty big challenge – write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Now, the point is NOT to write quality work necessarily, but to remove the internal blocks of writing and just write. These would be considered first drafts. Some authors actually go back and make edits to their work and have gone on to formally publish their novels. How cool is that.

I’m mightily tempted. It sounds really exciting and frightening at the same time. I don’t know…it might be fun.

Here’s more info for those wanna be writers:

NaNoWriMo FAQ with this following excerpt:

If I’m just writing 50,000 words of crap, why bother? Why not just write a real novel later, when I have more time?

There are three reasons.

1) If you don’t do it now, you probably never will. Novel writing is mostly a “one day” event. As in “One day, I’d like to write a novel.” Here’s the truth: 99% of us, if left to our own devices, would never make the time to write a novel. It’s just so far outside our normal lives that it constantly slips down to the bottom of our to-do lists. The structure of NaNoWriMo forces you to put away all those self-defeating worries and START. Once you have the first five chapters under your belt, the rest will come easily. Or painfully. But it will come. And you’ll have friends to help you see it through to 50k.

2) Aiming low is the best way to succeed. With entry-level novel writing, shooting for the moon is the surest way to get nowhere. With high expectations, everything you write will sound cheesy and awkward. Once you start evaluating your story in terms of word count, you take that pressure off yourself. And you’ll start surprising yourself with a great bit of dialogue here and a ingenious plot twist there. Characters will start doing things you never expected, taking the story places you’d never imagined. There will be much execrable prose, yes. But amidst the crap, there will be beauty. A lot of it.

3) Art for art’s sake does wonderful things to you. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to take naps and go places wearing funny pants. Doing something just for the hell of it is a wonderful antidote to all the chores and “must-dos” of daily life. Writing a novel in a month is both exhilarating and stupid, and we would all do well to invite a little more spontaneous stupidity into our lives.

It might be madness…but it would be interesting to see if I actually have a book in me (sometimes I’d like to think so).

And if you are in need of a refresher of what a novel comprised of, here’s a very basic overview of the elements of a novel.

Don’t laugh, I had to look these up. It’s been awhile since I’d been in a literature class.

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5 Responses to Considering the NaNoWriMo

  1. Heather says:

    Wow, Casey! That is a mighty challenge! My first thought was…how in the world would she be able to write 50,000 words, raise her three girls, run her household, etc….and I can’t even get my grocery shopping done! So, I applaud your even considering it! My second thought was…this sounds like just what you need! You seem to be longing for an intellectual challenge and you are a fantastic writer. I don’t know what the right answer for you is (only you do!), but I would definitely get in line to read your novel.

    Heather

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      Well, Heather, from what I’d been reading on the site, 50,000 words is considered enough of a challenge but doable enough for those that have day jobs and children to raise. Last year alone, I think 18,000 or more people actually got to the finish line.

      Dh actually seems to be all for it, and I even challenged him to see if he could do it as well. He actually has an idea of what he’d write.

      I actually have a few ideas of my own, and I have enough research about one to be a real valid and helpful book, with a cast of characters and settings and some stuff already to evolve into a decent novel.

      Still…I’d expect a lot of it to be crap this first go-round, but essentially marketable in the end.

  2. Mom Gail says:

    I think it’s a good idea. It might help you to get in touch with you in the present and leave the past where it needs to be. I love you

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      I think it’s a good idea too, Mom Gail. I think it will give me something to focus on, it will give me a purpose (at least for a while) and it will give me the chance to say, hey, I stuck with something to the end.

      I would like to say that I at least tried. And actually even if it never gets published, it’s going to be good for the girls to read when they get older, because they are going to be in the story (names changed of course). Kind of like being my legacy to them, even after I’m gone, you know? My biggest fear is that I will die early and they will not know what I’m really like and what they mean to me.

      I think, with a labor of love like that, I can’t really go wrong, you know?

      I love you too.

  3. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Well…actually now I’ve got some more ideas for different stories.

    Hmmmm…decisions to make and quick.

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