Monday, November 7, 2011

In November, Go NaNoWriMo!

It may be folly, but I have taken on a new task: writing a novel.

I'm under no illusion that my will be good, or even readable.  I hope to learn something from it, and maybe even come up with a character or short story or two that can be salvaged.  But I am keeping even those hopes modest.

This is all part of a national movement to get people writing, National Novel Writing Month (affectionately knows as NaNoWriMo).  The stated goal:finishing a 50,000 word-novel by November 30.  Some people worry about finishing their novel, some worry about a word count.  Frankly, I just worry that I'll have something worth my time by the end of the month.

Thankfully, I'm not alone in my quest.  I have suckered a few other people in, and they also have modest hopes.  One is a novelist who wants to start a new story.  Another is a self-proclaimed "non-writer" who has stories in her head.  Still another wants to give it a try because it sounds like fun.  The last in this motley crew is working on something in her head but hasn't gotten anything on paper yet.

And whose brilliant idea was this?  Well, I was the one to rally the troops.  To be fair, I wouldn't have considered it had another writer not suggested it, but in the end, it's all my fault.  I took up the baton and started running.  Amazing how often the folks who are ready to grab the baton are those I would never have expected — but who make for fantastic partners.  So far, I even met another new (to me) writer whose sense of humor makes me laugh, especially since I would never have said it as well as he (whatever "it" is: horror, King Arthur, psychotics).

I nearly forgot to offer a summary of the story!  Here it is: it's about someone who must listen.  The main character is dying.  Sheis told if she listens to people who need to "unburden" themselves, she will benefit.  She has a choice: listen or not. You'd think it would be easy, but how easy is it to really listen when you are yourself in need of an ear?

My goal: 2,000 words a day through the month of November (taking an occasional day off for, say, Thanksgiving or a friend's anniversary or wedding) (not the same friend).  So far, I'm on track: I've written one good chapter, one mediocre chapter, one awful one and one that I'm afraid to re-read because I liked it as I wrote it. Total so far: 11,972 words — not bad for a poet who tries to keep her work at a single page.

I'll let you know how it's going.  And if you want, give it a try.  Sure, you're a week behind, but has that ever stopped you? Er, don't answer that.  Just... give it a shot, and let me know how you're faring.

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