Nano Nano

Oh, if only I were as prolific in writing as Williams was in adlibbing!

Once again – glutton for punishment I am, I participated in this year’s National Novel Writing Month or simply NaNoWriMo as many, sometimes cringingly, call it. In layman’s terms I had write 50,000 words of my story/novel in 30 days.

Why 50k and calling it a novel? I’ll let the NaNoWriMo website explain it:

We’ve found that 50,000 words is a challenging but achievable goal for many people, even folks with full-time jobs and children. And, though on the shorter side, it’s definitely long enough to be considered a novel: 50,000 words is about the length of The Great Gatsby.

We define a novel as “a lengthy work of fiction.” Beyond that, we let you decide whether what you’re writing falls under the heading of “novel.” In short: If you believe you’re writing a novel, we believe you’re writing a novel, too.

Nanowrimo website

As a fan fiction writer I use it motivate me to go for those longer multi-chapter stories in the warren of plot bunnies running amok among the dust bunnies in my head. I am verbose – I know this. I have a fic out there that took over 277k words and eighteen months of my life to tell. So, I at least start the stories and complete them once NaNoWriMo is over.

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo off and on for a few years now. I believe they chose November because here in the States, at least, Thanksgiving at the end of the month throws a huge wrench in the gears of obtaining that 50,000 words. When I first started there were a couple of years where I had not managed my time well and had fallen far short of the goal. Now I try to hustle at the beginning of the month, with a personal goal of reaching the 50k by the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Because I know from experience nothing is getting done that Wednesday thru Friday.

Notice I said try to. I was more than annoyed with myself this year to have only reached 42823 words on the morning of the 22nd. I knew there was no way I was typing over 7k words in a single day. Between preparing for, celebrating during, cleaning up after Thanksgiving my brain just had to accept the fact that not another word was going to be typed until Saturday morning the earliest. Yeah – between family staying the weekend, and I’ll be honest – alcohol, lots of alcohol, Saturday morning at the earliest became Sunday evening before I could write again. It took until last night, but I crossed the Rubicon with 53517 words and two days to spare!

2022 NaNoWriMo Winner Badge

No, this year’s so called novel “Rock Star” is not even close to complete. I estimate another 20k, but a chunk is done, and the was the goal. So now I get to breathe for a moment, pull out the big red editor pencil and go from there.

Let’s see how others are goal tending this Tuesday…

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NaNoWriMo – Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!

NANOWRIMO-2011

I walked in my door after hanging out Wednesday evening. I did not leave my house again until I left for work this morning. During that time I pumped out over 9,000 words, including working on Thanksgiving Day, to get this award.

I now return to my regularly scheduled life. Pass this gal a drink and bring on the holidays!

WOOT!

===== Full Epilogue 11/30/2011 ====

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2011 was a great experience and I am so glad to have participated in it. For those unfamiliar with it, National Novel Writing Month is a challenge to write 50,000 words of your novel within the thirty days of November. There are no prizes other than a fill out and print-it-yourself certificate and the bragging rights of knowing you did it! For me, who had yet written Word 1, that was more than enough.

30 days seems like plenty of time to pen 50,000 words until you BS half the month away. On November 21st I had 41742 words in and only 8 days to meet the 50k challenge with Thanksgiving weekend square in the middle of it. Naturally, temptation rears its ugly head. I am invited to two events, I really wanted to attend and the weather this past weekend was freaking beautiful for late November in NYC! BEA-U-TI-FUL I tell you! It was so unfair!

I looked at the sun through my window, watched the clock past toward and beyond the event times, sighed and typed away. I had no choice. At one in the morning of Day 28 I hit 51441. Enough for NaNoWriMo, but my personal challenge was 52k, so I still had work to do. Twenty-four hours later, I officially validated my work on their website at 52,640 words and received the certificate posted above.

I know I would have gotten off my duff and eventually started pounding out the novel that has played in the far recesses of my mind for quite a few years now. Still, the NaNoWriMo challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days was the perfect kick-start and learning experience. I am nowhere near having a manuscript I would email to good friends, let alone a publisher, but I I am considerably more on my way to that goal than I was thirty days ago.

Now, 57012 words in, I can already see the first couple of chapters I planned in my original outline are likely to be trashed. They are only marginally informational to the development of the core characters and I can do without them. I have already gone in side plot directions, I had not thought of before, and oh! -I’ve killed off a character! In addition, I have also learned some scenes are better told in narrative, while others are best done in character dialog.

Most important, I’ve learned I’m verbose (I KNOW – whodathunkit?!). I am going to have to take an editing weed whacker in the first drafts to fine-tune this when I’m ready.

Geesh! And I though writing poetry was difficult!

The plot sickens, eh? 😉

Here goes…

Why is my brain so scattered this month?

I barely, and I do mean barely, seem to be able to focus on any specific artistic pursuit to save my life and goodness know I have more than enough things on my to do list that needs to be done. Someone asked what’s up with this blog and I was actually shocked to realize that I had posted nothing since September 8. Granted part of lack of content, as all who know me in real life are aware, is the celebration of my birth month of September. Between preparing for vacation, being on vacation and the various activities surrounding my birthday itself, September is always a whirlwind so no surprise there of the lack of content. However, the dearth of activity in October is another matter all together.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about it. I have. And then … crickets. No new blog entries, not even about my stay in Oregon (and I did have a wonderful time there). No work on about a dozen partially started ideas I have in the queue. I’ve written no new poems; nor have I worked on anything in progress in that realm. The blinking cursor with nothing in front of it has been a very haunting and daunting thing these past couple of weeks as I try to kick-start a muse that seems to still be on the vacation that the rest of me has returned from for already.

It really irks right now me as I am seriously considering entering NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to finally put to pixels an idea of mine that has floated on the outskirts of my mind for several years now. I don’t know if entering NaNoWriMo will be a dismal failure if I can’t shake whatever this is that has my brain so scattered or if being forced to concentrate will be the jump-start I need. NaNoWriMo officially starts November 1, I have less than a week to decide. I will say this though, if I do plunge in, unfortunately this blog will be what suffers the most. So, for you few followers/subscribers who’ve patiently stuck through this dry spell with me thus far, I thank you so much and kindly ask for just a little more patience as I tackle this. After all nothing beats a failure, except to not even try right? And when have I not at least tried?

Hmmm, sounds like I’ve made a decision there doesn’t it?