Okay, peeps. Do you have your writing goggles ready and your pens in hand? It is two weeks to one of the biggest writing events there is!!!
I finished my first book in 2008. It took me 2 ½ years and I really believed about two chapters a month was what I could write. I wrote half another book and played with an idea that I couldn't get going on, and then in August 2009 I had an idea for a PREQUEL to my idea that wasn't flying. It spurted out of the pen onto the page in 7 weeks (about 70K). And I changed my opinion. The idea of NaNoWriMo, formerly so INSANE, suddenly didn't seem so impossible, so I thought, what the heck. Why not?
National Novel Writing Month is a world-wide writing event in which people all over try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The rules dictate it should NOT be started before the month begins and needs to be completed by the time the month ends. There is a rebel badge, though, if, for instance, you just wanted to write 50K on an already started work. (or if you want to write non-fiction) (or if you want to write TWO novellas of 25K each)--so you are not EXCLUDED if you like the idea but have one parameter that poses an obstacle.
They have graphs and gadgets to keep track of progress... The Burrow loved this so much in 2009 that we implemented a June counterpart, so I've written four novels this way (one of which appears to be the one that will take off on its own first—Kahlotus)
1) the group adrenaline is AMAZING
2) somehow it is easier to allow yourself to let go of other responsibilities if you have a defined start and end. It doesn't feel as selfish as doing it indefinitely.
3) Forcing myself to write FAST makes me just stick to the main story. I can tangent better than most, but really, that isn't what is best for a plot.
4) I think it's a nice way to add some dimensions to some of your other online relationships. Blog buddies are easy to be close to, but I've found WriMos and ABNA are great for adding layers to facebook or twitter friendships that formerly didn't have as much substance. I ALSO love it as a time to encourage the young writers in my life—high school and college students who maybe haven't reached the commitment of writing every day all year round, but can take a month for a project. I have one writer friend who wrote her first book at 14 in the 2009 NaNoWriMo.
You know me and my relationship with rules... if something needs to be fudged, I'm easy. I figure DOING it with some bent rules is a lot better than not doing it. Doing it and knowing you will need to bail at Thanksgiving when your family is all coming STILL leads to 35K you didn't have otherwise...
That said, I've won all four I've done (and this will be my first rebel year—since Medium Wrong has the first few scenes written). But then I write daily anyway.
So Who is in?
I am hartjohnson, once they get that friend thing going. I'd love to see you there!