“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.’” - Stephen King
When the leaves in central Ohio begin to turn, I think of two things: the Columbus Marathon and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This year I'm running the half marathon instead of the full so I have more energy to plan for NaNoWriMo.
The NaNoWriMo motto is, "The world needs your novel." I don't know if the world needs any of the books I've written, but I definitely needed to write them and I've enjoyed using the NaNoWriMo structure to write the first drafts.
There's something about knowing more than 100,000 other writers are out there pounding the keys just like me. Attending the write-ins and hearing the keystrokes of three or four or twenty other writers from my area inspires me. It was intimidating at first, but once I began the first sentence, I was fine.
If you want to write a novel or need a structure to get your work done, NaNoWriMo might work for you. The official goal is to write 50,000 words of fiction in the thirty days of November. That's what most wrimos (folks who participate in NaNoWriMo) do. Nano rebels write nonfiction, poetry, short stories, or songs. And some folks, myself included, use the structure for revision. Last year I used it to remove 50,000 words from the 190,000 word manuscript about running my first marathon. I called it reverse NaNoWriMo.
I'll definitely play along this year as well. I'm at the place in my revision process where I need to make another pass through the book. I'll divide the number of scenes by the thirty days in November and read and make notes on a set number of scenes each day to get through the whole book by the end of the month. The communal energy of NaNoWriMo will pull me through.
What are your goals for November? Do you want to play along? You can find the ABCs of NaNoWriMo on the website. For more information, get the books No Plot? No Problem!
and Ready, Set, Novel!.
My screen name on the NaNoWriMo website is willwrite4chocolate. If you decide to join, please look me up. It's good to have friends wherever you go.