Okay, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is me, throwing down a Gauntlet.
See, there’s this little contest I’m sure none of you writer types have ever heard of before. It’s called NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month.
It was started by this awesome dude named Chris Baty, and it’s ballooned into an amazing, exhilarating international writerly love-fest. The idea is this:
From November 1st to November 30th at midnight, you, author, are to write 50 000 words on a novel. Okay, so 50 000 is closer to novella than novel, but it’s a great blueprint for a novel and an excellent chunk to go back in to fill out, or to continue on with after November ends.
The NaNo community is wonderful at supporting each other, and international cities compete with one another to get the highest word count by the end of the month. There are forums and stats bars that allow you to update your wordcount accumulation daily. I also met some of my best friends in Japan via the forums. NaNo’s parent company, the Office of Letters and Light, also support literacy and creative writing programs in schools all over the world.
NaNoWriMo sounds like a lot of work in one month, and it does take dedication, but it is possible, believe me. I’ve done my 50 000 every year since beginning the contest in 2002 (er, except the two years when I was writing a thesis. But if had included my thesis instead of a fiction novel, then yeah, I did the 50 000 words those years, too).
I finished Triptych with the 2008 NaNo, and Dsr in an earlier year.
Those are unique experiences because not only was I finishing the 50 000 words, but I actually completed a full book. It was thrilling to come away with not only 100 pages of manuscript, but a fully fledged first draft, and that made the winning all the sweeter.
To that end, I propose a challenge!
In an effort to make NaNoWriMo 2010 not just about 50 000 words, but a month when an actual novel is completed, we’ve designated September and October NaNoWarmUp!
The average first draft of a novel book is between 75 000 and 80 000 words. By aiming for 30 000 words in September and October, that means when you add the other 50 000, you’ll have a finished book.
NaNoWarmUp also allows you to slowly work yourself up to your writing groove, and start to ingrain the habits you’ll need to win NaNoWriMo.
I’ve created a hashtag on Twitter to allow other people to participate as well, but do spread the word! #nanowarmup Every day, post your current word count with the hashtag, so we can follow each other’s progress and cheer one another on. There’s also this facebook page.
Welcome to September 1st! Let’s go!
JM’s September 1st Word Count: 0/30 000
Follow me on Twitter (@scifrey) for my daily wordcount updates.