It’s almost here.
It will not be slowed by hurricanes or postponed because of flooding.
It’s ready to make me laugh, cry, and beg for mercy.
Am I ready for NaNoWriMo?
I hope so.
For those of you who are readers but not writers, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel-Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a brand-new novel during the month of November. If you complete all 50,000 words, you are considered a winner, and you get a nifty certificate.
This is the way I wrote the first draft of Bleeder last year. Having never written a novel before, I pantsed the whole thing. (Which means that I didn’t use an outline. Instead, I wrote “by the seat of my pants”). When I was done with my 50,000 words, I had a novel! Yeah, there were some false leads, some bad writing, and some paragraphs that ended in “yes” because I need 2,000 words that day and I’d only written 1,999. But I wrote my first book, and to my surprise, it wasn’t bad. There was a beginning, middle, and an end. There were interesting characters that I loved. There was a plot (and a good one). There was dramatic tension and decent dialogue. The ending was freaking awesome. After quite a few more revisions, I got Bleeder, and began to send it out to literary agents. That’s the step I’m at now.
NaNoWriMo is a big deal for me. It’s when I started believing I was a writer. It’s when I started looking for the coveted writer mug (by the way, remind me to write an update on that post…). It’s when I learned how to write crappy first drafts and EDIT LATER. It’s when my mom was stuffing a turkey and I was sitting at the kitchen table, pounding out my words for the day. It’s when my husband started to come home and ask, “How many words today?” It’s when I starting skipping social functions because I needed 1,500 words and I only had 800.
This year? I have high hopes. I did my own personal LaNoWriMo (Laura’s Novel-Writing Month) in the Spring, and it was an awesome learning experience. Yes, I got my 50,000 words in. No, they were not quite a finished book. But, like I said, I learned a lot about the Perils of Pantsing, and the whole writing-a-novel-in-a-month-with-a-full-time-job thing. I’m glad I did it. But boy, it was tough.
So what do I have ready this year?
A brand-new story. Lovely characters. A giant nebulous idea and a few little concrete ones. Do I have a plan? More than last year. Do I have it completely plotted? Not at all.
I have lots of coffee, an emergency roll of oreos, a predictable schedule, and ways to handle unpredictability. I also have cat ears on my headband (it is Halloween, after all).
Am I ready to win this year? Yes ma’am I am.
Look me up at http://www.nanowrimo.org! My name is Laurabirdd.