YES, IT IS THAT TIME OF YEAR again—literally just around the corner (yikes!)—well, four weeks away to be exact, but the way my timeline seems to fly, it might as well be tomorrow (sniggle). I’m wanting to get my book five finished pronto, so what better way than to be in a one-month pressure cooker? (click on image to see the whole thing)
I hope it works, because I’m so close to finishing the edit on book four (doing a happy dance—I know y’all are saying “It’s about time!”) and I’d like to have book five roll out (published) no more than six months after book four. I can’t say why (spoilers!), but there’s a good reason … honest.
For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo (the acronym for National Novel Writing Month), this is an annual online event held from November 1-30 and the goal is to write a novel—50,000 words—in that allotted time. It spills over into the real world in the form of writers and writer-wanna-bees (NOT meant—in any way, shape, or form—as a derogatory statement) meeting in groups to encourage each other, answer questions and create challenges to help move each person closer to the 50,000 word goal.
So many people have told me they’ve got an idea for a story—when they say that, I tell them to stop putting it off—get it on paper (or in digital form). A little bit a day. But I also tell them about NaNoWriMo, since it’s an excellent way to dive into writing.
For the uninitiated, 50,000 words seems daunting. But if broken down into smaller “bites,” that is 1,667 words a day, which is only a little over 208 words an hour (for 8 hours a day)—or 417 words per hour for four hours a day. Now, that’s not so hard, is it? And if you feel you have no clue where to start, NaNoWriMo has a page just for you—Pep Talks are inspirational letters written by well-known authors during NaNoWriMo just for you. They’ll be delivered to your NaNoWriMo inbox throughout NaNoWriMo season, ready to inspire you, motivate you, and keep you writing all month long. Sooo … stop draggin’ your feet and check it out!
NaNoWriMo changed the rules a couple of years ago, making it an awesome tool for those of us in the middle of a manuscript (a work in process—WIP) that needed a little boost to take it to the finish line. Instead of something completely new, they allowed writers to start where their WIP “ended” … and made it easier for those writing poetry, too—though I’m not terribly familiar with those changes since I seldom play with poetry.
For those of you that are interested in giving it a go—you do know … you do not need to make that 50,000 word goal to benefit from this month-long exercise—you can click on this link (to NaNoWriMo’s site) to check it out. The simple act of starting to put your thoughts on paper is an amazing feeling. You can create an outline, choose characters, situations, etc. prior to November first (that is permitted)—or like me, just start writing (I’m what they call a Panster—I write as the story comes to me … outlines don’t work with me), but don’t start to write the story until midnight of October 31st! Anything written before that time cannot be counted (that includes those of us with unfinished WIPs).
Sign up today. Start planning now. Read the website’s helpful hints … and above all, have fun with it—explore your mind for ideas.