What is that? It’s National Novel Writing Month and it starts tomorrow. It is a month of literary abandon. Many crazy and brave souls take on the gauntlet of writing 50k words in the span of one month. 30 days to be precise. This maths down to proximately 1667 words a day. That is a lot of words in some rights and not that many in others.
Why would someone do such a thing? What was it created? The simple answer is to end the ‘one day novelist’ bring an end to the saying “One day I’ll write a novel”. Well that ‘one day’ is now, November. You are given a challenging goal and a dead line. This pushes you to write, it also forces you to get the ideas down on paper and leaves little to no time for editing.
It is fantastic! I have done Nanowrimo for several years, since 2009. I’ve helped run it for my local region I think since 2011 and every year I have written 50k words. Now, before you get all impressed most of those words are rubbish, most of it is not publishable by any means. Of course that isn’t to say that what I wrote was a waste. I got a great idea for a Dragon story while doing Nano and the novel that I’ve been working hard on and editing here and there – that was a Nano novel.
Nanowrimo allowed me to get words on paper – it taught me that I can write a novel and that I can make time to write. It also taught me that I can at the very least craft a story of some sort. Honestly Nano is a worth experience that I encourage all writers to take on at least once.
However the even is not everything. It is now the end all and be all. It is why I am not actively participating this year. Will I write? Yes. Will I go to some of the events? Yes. Am I aiming for the 50k? No. Will I reach 50k? I don’t know. This year I’m taking a step back, I’m stepping away from the frenzy of words for the sake of words and looking to building my craft. I plan to edit this year, to write as I see fit – nothing blindly written, all of it thought out because that is what my writing needs. I feel I need to add some cadence to my writing to stop and think about it to consider the use of a comma at the right time and place.
So we’ll see what happens for me this November – what I can take out of it as a person who joining the masses to write just not to write the 50k word goal.
Aside from that if you have questions about Nanowrimo you can Google it or even ask me. I was a former regional leader of the site for several years so I know the ins and outs of the program as well as some great tricks for those participating.
I’ve been out of the blogging world for a while. After getting hit hard with my uncertainty I needed a break. I needed to stop pushing myself to possibly be something I’m not. So, I did as I said I would. I delved into the world of fanfiction. It took me a while to get integrated back in and to get some of the feed back that I was craving.
I’ve had an offer for betaing and a request to beta future stories. For those who may not be familiar with the term betaing it is pretty much editing but not at the professional level really. It is a second pair of eyes to catch those things you naturally over look. So to have someone offer to do the job based on a few casual conversations and reading a bit of my work was dumbfounding. It makes me feel like I might have something going for me in the way of words. I’m not ready to go running off toward the published novel grounds just yet. I want to hold my horses and work on other things first.
Also, I have learned that I am good at portraying characters. Of the few reviews I have received on my works is that they good a good feel for the characters I write. They can sympathize with the characters they find other characters to be believable and well written. So this I feel I can list as a strength. Second most common remark, the uniqueness of my idea. Many people hadn’t considered the plot twist I decide to follow with my stories. So I have decent plot ideas.
Basics! Check I have them! This is exciting. I know there are people who will read this and say Misheal, I could have already told you that but most of you I know personally. To hear this validation from an utter stranger is different.
Next up weakness, in some ways I haven’t been getting too much of that. At least not critical failings that I feel I have in some ways which means I’m either making them up or people haven’t thought to say something. With my editor of my original novel and my beta for my fan fiction, one thing is clear to me. Repetition, it is my mortal enemy. I cannot express how many times I see “change word it has been used twice already” or something of the sort. My other weakness is commas. I know they are important. I can get the commas right so that my character is inviting grandma to come and eat, rather than suggesting cannibalism. However, commas like the one I just used I am not so good at. I like to rush forward, get all the words down and then forget that a normal person would pause here, or here, maybe even there. My thoughts tend to be very fluid, it’s even how I talk, I just go all in and hardly pause to even breath. Of course, in an effort to combat that and get the whole comma thing battened I fail to use semicolons and dashes correctly and even occasioning failing to break a sentence into two instead. Blah.
So, to work I shall go continuing to work on my fanfiction story while a dozen other ideas bounce around in my head. I forgot how plot bunnies could multiply, and I honestly have missed the feeling of having a head teaming with ideas and not enough time to write them all down. That I think is the best part of fanfiction, for me the ideas never stop and my mind has touched on original ideas some as well. We’ll see what more time as a fanfiction writer will accomplish for me.