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.