Contemplating NaNoWriMo

Contemplating NaNoWriMoCall me crazy, but I’m contemplating NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month originated in the US as a challenge event to get writers to attempt a fifty-thousand word manuscript through November.

A non-profit initiative promoting creative writing, NaNoWriMo originally aimed at first timers to write ‘that one book we all have in us.’ Now all kinds of writers participate, taking up the challenge to draft a book in a month. The challenge equates to producing 1366 words a day.

No Prizes

NaNoWriMo has a website through which you can manage your progress against target, writing tools, community pages and more including a badge and certificate if you ‘win’ by completing a draft of your novel.

But that’s not the point. The aim is the challenge itself: a book in a month.

A short book. Not  even that: a draft of a short book

How hard can it be?

1366 words a day. Alongside your normal routine. Without writer’s block. That hard.

Proof Positive

A work colleague of mine completed it several years ago. I didn’t get to read it, though I wish I had. Ever since, I’ve contemplated NaNoWriMo as a means to get something out fast, even if it’s the dirtiest of dirty drafts.

Is it the answer to one of my problems: too many stories, too little time?

I’m up for a challenge.

I have characters, I have almost four thousand words of outline, plot, scenes, bits of dialogue. I have a setting, a fantasy world, lore, history. My writing is mostly character-first. It’s not like I’m discovery writing the whole thing from scratch.

Even if I don’t ‘win’ – and many don’t – I’ll get further than not starting at all. I’ll have the bones of another book to finish, and the experience of putting another full-length story together.

The fact that I’m still contemplating NaNoWriMo tells me something.

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