Authorial Endeavor #007. It’s October 31, and for most people around these parts, that means Halloween. But for the last few years, I’ve come to think of it as NaNoWriMo Eve. If you’re not in the know, that’s the short form of National Novel Writing Month, which is in its fourteenth year. You can read more about it here, but very briefly, writers take on the challenge of completing a 50,000 novel in 30 days.
The annual word blitz is right up my alley because I enjoy challenges and competitions. But I’ll admit, I do put my own spin on things. Instead of working on one brand new novel, I use the month-long push to rattle out material for several stories I’m planning to work on in the coming year. Setting notes, character bios, plot progression, synopses, summaries, snatches of dialogue, and (of course) entire scenes that I’ve been saving up for the last several months will finally make their way onto virtual paper.
I don’t register on the official site because I’m not really playing by the rules, but every year I use NaNoWriMo as a tool to further my writing. To make the monthly word count goal, you need to crank out roughly 1,700 words a day. I like having a concrete goal. I like tallying up my word count each evening and “feeding the ticker.” I like having a visual reminder that my efforts add up to something.
[There are lots of tickers available on the interwebz, but this one is my personal favorite.]
Is NaNoWriMo for everyone? No, and it’s okay if you decide not to take the leap. Over the last week, I read two excellent posts by writers who don’t take part in NaNoWriMo… and for excellent reasons.
QueryTracker – Why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo
Aliventures – 4 Reasons You Should Do NaNoWriMo … and 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t
So I’ll be up early tomorrow with my desktop edition of Write or Die, diving into a few stories I can’t wait to wrestle into existence. How about you? Will you be joining the creative frenzy that is National Novel Writing Month?