Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NaNoWriMo II - The Noveling

In two days it will be National Novel Writing Month again and I encourage readers to participate if possible.

Last year was my first year in NaNoWriMo and I crossed the finish line with a couple of days to spare. Problem was that after 50,000 words, the novel I was working on wasn't close to finished. I had resolved to finish before moving on to other things, but the truth is I wrote myself into a corner and I can't figure out how to get the characters out. It is said that Tolkien took years of time away from writing Lord of the Rings while thinking of ways to get the Fellowship out of Moria, but in the time in between he invented like half a dozen languages. I don't think battling pixellated zombies is quite on the same level.

This year I have a new plan. I came up with a new idea for a children's/young adult type novel that shouldn't end up being nearly as long as last year's project. Although I was satisfied to finish NaNoWriMo last year, I must admit to serious disappointment in not finishing the novel. This time 50k words should put me a lot closer to finishing a full first draft of the entire book, what with the scope being much smaller.

This year I've got a couple more writing buddies as well, including my mom. Writing buddies are great because you end up pushing each other to actually reach the goal of 50k words as you see each other's word counts increasing. As World of Warcraft and other games have taught us, there is no greater motivation than an incrementally increasing progress bar.

This will be extremely fun because my mom and I actually worked together writing a children's story when I was much younger. It was called Frankie the Fabulous Fighting Ferret. My mom had the idea for this tale after watching ferrets wrestling in a pet store, and imagined a professional wrestling league consisting entirely of ferrets. The tale followed sort of a Rocky arc, with Frankie being an unknown and fighting his way up through the ranks. I'm not sure I contributed much more than "technical" names for various pro wrestling maneuvers (yes, I was actually really into pro wrestling when I was a kid), but it was a lot of fun.

There's still a couple of days for stragglers to sign up and I encourage you to do so. Even if you get in a couple of days late, you can still catch up with one solid weekend of writing. It's going to be tougher this year with wedding planning, an extended visit from Julie's mom, and of course the ever present Thanksgiving travel, but that's sort of the point of NaNoWriMo... it's always busy and the trouble with writing is people (myself included) always talk about doing it at some distant point in the future "when we have time."

If anybody does decide to sign up and needs writing buddies, feel free to buddy up with me at robustyoungsoul.

8 comments:

Neils said...

And even when we make the time, writing can be a vindictive mistress. My writing process is problematic, because there are so many steps to doing it right, and I'm still learning something new every day about how to take an immense body of my, and other people's research, different insights, and whatever else, outline it in a way that makes sense, and then write it down in a way that engages people. I'm lucky if I get to crack a few jokes.

I've been working, pretty exclusively, on a book for almost a year now. In fact, it's coming up on a year - it's too damned easy to whittle away the time...

But I desperately need writing buddies. My co-author works two jobs, has her own responsibilities, and I have an immense amount of respect for it. I've got less responsibility, but I still live the life of a professional slacker. =P

DM Osbon said...

Ok no idea about how I am going to fit this in but I am up for this...how long do you actually get to write 50k words?

robustyoungsoul said...

@neils - Anybody who can actually write a book to publication like you are doing, especially with that level of research, has my undying respect.

What's nice about NaNoWriMo is you don't worry too much about editing and all the really hard stuff... this is the fun part where you just write whatever you can to can to 50k words in a month and try to have something that makes a modicum of sense! I don't even want to think about how long it would take to get something really in a publishable form.

@dm osbon - You have the month of November, starting at midnight on November 1 and ending 11:59 on November 30. This means you need to write a little more than 1,666 words/day. It's a lot of fun but definitely takes a committed effort plus a couple of real banner days, since it is tough to write every with your regular schedule and holidays going on!

jmansor said...

Good Luck! I think I will sit this one out.

chornbe said...

Ditto on the sitting out. I've just got too much going on right now. Next year's road trip, changes in the family, career stuff, etc... life is busy and complicated.

Next year, however...

I know, I know... for every "next year" there is a failure to get started. But I'm serious. Next year.

DM Osbon said...

Woah 1666 words a day...hmmm...I use to love writing short stories when I was younger which didnt have an end, so this could be up my street.

Will look over the registration now & get back to you.

Andrew said...

I'm going to do it!!!

Wait, do they check for plagiarisms?

I can't just copy and paste chapters from cool books like Fight Club, The Count of Monte Cristo, the LoTR Trilogy, Mists of Avalon, etc... to make on super-book.

It will be called: Larry Spotter and the Vault of Undisclosed Ideas...

Julie said...

I am going to use NaNoWriMo 2007 to read your 50,000 words from NanoWriMo 2006 (printing hard copy now). I may be the worst fiance ever. How did 11 months disappear on me?