It’s that time again! It’s a month that I look forward to every year, where I can join thousands of others across the globe in rapidly racking up the word count on our newest novels. For the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is a challenge to write 50,000 words (or the length of a short novel) between November 1st and midnight on November 30th. That translates to about 1,666 words every day, which is no small feat.
I have participated for the last two years, and both years I ‘won’, which means that I was able to reach 50,000 words before the deadline. The first year, I wrote the first draft of a sequel to “The Canticle Kingdom” called “The Frozen Globe”, which should still be on the horizon. For my second year, I wrote most of the a novel called “Starspire” which I finished in another 20 days to round it out at about 80,000. It’s my personal record at 50 days from zero to novel.
This year, I’m going to do the reverse of last year. By the end of October, I should have about 30,000 words towards the as yet unnamed sequel to “The Last Archangel”. During NaNoWriMo, I will write the rest of the 50,000 words to finish the first draft of the novel by the end of November. I’m very excited about it.
You may ask if with such speed you see a drop in quality. The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that you are allowed and even encouraged to do extensive planning beforehand. Some authors are pure “discovery writers” and just want to see where the story takes them. Though I do this to a point, I find that with NaNoWriMo, it is “plan or perish”. If you are going to write that many words in a single month, you need to have an idea where you are headed or you might find yourself 50,000 words richer, but in the wrong direction.
So, hop on board! Visit http://www.nanowrimo.org to sign up and take part. In the comments, let me know what you are planning to write.