24 September 2008

National Novel Writing Month: begin the countdown!

November is National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo), and I’m gearing up. (Read the F.A.Q.) I have “accidentally” participated in this event before, since each of my three previous novels reached the 50,000 word mark within a thirty-day period. However, I’m intoxicated with the idea of doing the event officially this year, starting on November 1st with the first draft of a new novel, and running headlong toward that 50,000 word goal before midnight, November 30th. My books usually come out to around 70,000–90,000 words in their first draft, so I will most likely keep writing after the official end of NaNoWriMo, but a month of working toward a deadline, and in connection with other writers across the globe doing the same, should bring me the writing jolt I need right now.

I’m also looking forward to local social events and write-ins around NaNoWriMo. Writing is so often a solitary activity—novel writers are often solo-flyers in life in general, I’m no exception—that it will feel energizing to socialize with other folks going through the same joys and pains and caffeine injections. (I don’t drink coffee, so I’ll have to rely on Monster and Red Bull.)

I’ll keep a running track of my progress through NaNoWriMo here on the blog, although most of the specific details of the novel I’m going to keep secret. After all, I want you to buy the book eventually and discover all its secrets yourselves. I am doing a different style of pre-writing and planning for this book than any other book I’ve written before, which is a longer post that I’ll get into tomorrow. I will say that this is going to be the most “spontaneous” novel I’ve written, and I’m anticipating the new experience.

At the moment, the NaNoWriMo website is locked for new sign-ups until October 1st, when the site will re-start in preparation for November. I encourage anybody with writing urges to sign up and give it a go. Writing a novel is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have. I advise getting NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem!, which offers great advice about noveling on a deadline and goes in depth about what taking part in NaNoWriMo is all about.

And if you sign up, go to my profile and make me your writing buddy.