Well, one third of October is gone already and Halloween is coming. But so is something more terrifying, at least for those who brave the challenge. November is Nanowrimo Month and I’ve signed up for it. For anyone unfamiliar with Nanowrimo, it’s quite simple. Starting on November 1st you have until the November 30th to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel. That’s right. You start a brand new novel from scratch at the beginning of the month and try to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. It doesn’t mean the novel has to be completed, you just have to have written that amount of words for your novel.
Now to some this sounds easy, to others it sounds daunting. The object here is not to create finished product, but a first draft and have those 50,000 words of it done by the end of the month. It has been calculated that a person would need to do 1666 words per day, without missing a single day to make this goal. Easy right? Wrong! In my case, I will have to fight perfectionist tendencies and resist the temptation to go back and redo certain sections I’ve already written. This happens to me all the time while writing. So this will be one of the major challenges of the exercise. I have to remind myself that fixing areas and rewriting scenes is what 2nd, 3rd and 4th drafts are for. The purpose here is to get that 1st draft done period.
I’m hoping this experience will help me overcome that problem, which is one of the reasons why my 2nd novel has been taking so long. I keep going back and fixing areas or changing things which affect the rest of the 1st draft so I wind up doing more fixes elsewhere instead of just getting the damn story finished so I can go back and make changes. An unfinished story is an unfinished story, period. We’re not meant to have a perfect 1st draft, just a full story.
Oddly enough, I didn’t have this problem with my 1st novel “The Bridge”. It was more like a Nanowrimo story. I got the 1st draft done and then spent weeks cleaning it up. I need to get back to that mindset. Why did I change my habits? I think because I’m more aware of how rough the 1st draft of “The Bridge” was and I’m afraid of wincing over and over again at what I’ve done and trying to fix it. Getting a cleaner 1st draft seems to be what I’m trying for with “The Ship”, but it’s hampering my attempt to get to the final big climactic scene. I have to remind myself that those errors will be caught LATER! I dont’ have to work on them now.
As for what I’ve got planned for Nanowrimo? Well, it will involve vampires with the typical weaknesses of legend, yet there will be a twist that makes it fit in my Para-Earth Universe. That’s all I’ll say. I’m creating a bit of an outline and getting my characters lined up and getting to know who they are before I begin on November 1st. All of this is permitted in the rules. You just can’t start writing the actual story until November 1st.
So here’s to Nanowrimo. If you want to take a crack at it yourself, here’s the link to sign up:
I’ll be talking more about Nanowrimo in the coming weeks so stay tuned. I’ll try not to bore you all with it, but just share some of what I’m going through as it happens. I promise to still post about different parts of the writing process and giving tips. So until next time, good luck and keep writing.
PS: Here’s a sneak peak at what the cover for my Nanowrimo project may be. It’s not the final product, more of a work in progress. I want to do some more tweaking to the image, but I think this is close to what the final image may wind up being.