Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's NaNoWriMo Time!!!!

November is in full swing, and so are 200,000 novelist wannabes. National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, is an annual, internet-based writing marathon that lasts the 30 days of November. Nanowrimo is in it's twelfth year of existance, and has grown from twenty-one people attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days in 1999 to well over 200,000 novelists attempting to slam out the words in 2010.

2011 is the fifth attempt I'm taking at going for literary gold and that elusive 50,000 mark. I've succeeded three times, and the third try was actually my first published book, Bingo Barge Murder. (That was after a gazillion rerwrites and a ton of edit work) Back in 2004, I think it was,

I stumbled across this strange internet site that encouraged people to write 50,000 words in a single month. You're kidding me, right? Nope, it was serious. I had just finished a series of books that I adored, and when I'd read the last one, I was crushed. What was happening with my alternate family? People (NOT characters!) I'd come to love!! I decided if I wrote my own book, my characters would never have to end. So after looking at the Nanowrimo site and reading some of the comments by Chris Baty, Nano founder, about writing during the month, I decided to give it a whirl. Here's a few examples from his 2008 Pep Talk:

November 2: Stop writing. Wonder if you should start over. Keep going. Feel better.

November 8: As the first full week of writing comes to a close, you will be at 11,666 words. This is more fiction than most people write in their lifetimes, and you did it in a week. Go, you! This is also Municipal Liaison Appreciation Day, a raucous international holiday that celebrates NaNoWriMo’s volunteer chapter-heads (the folks who organized the write-in you went to last week). Chocolate, flowers, and gifts of expensive electronics are appreciated.

November 13: Nothing really happens on November 13.

November 15: After the second week of writing, you will be at 25,000 words. This is the approximate length of such legendary works of fiction as Animal Farm, Death in Venice, and Gossip Girl: I Like it Like That. You’re halfway to winning! Attend a Midway Party in your town, or come to San Francisco, where the Night of Writing Dangerously Write-a-thon will set records for group noveling and candy consumption.

November 30: By midnight, local time, we will all be the proud owners of 50,000-word novels that we could barely imagine on October 31. Plan to attend your local NaNoWriMo Thank God It’s Over Party, where grins will abound, champagne will flow, fives will be highed, and wrists will be iced.

With a healthy dose of humor, Chris Baty helped propel writer wannabes into full fledged writerdom. Granted a lot of what is put forth during these 30 days is a lot of crap, to put it bluntly, but within the mess there's almost always some golden eggs. The point of writing should be fun, and Nanowrimo made it fun for me. I never expected to have any success at selling a book, and the fact that I did is just icing on the cake.

So As I wind up the first week and enter into the second week of blissful or maybe not so blissful outpourings of words, I'm happy to say this is still a hoot! I just hope I can stay on track to earn this badge again:

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