It’s nearly November which means fiction writers around the world are eagerly anticipating kicking off National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it’s known to most. The concept is easy even though it sounds insane: write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 31 days. Yup. A novel. A short one. 50,000 words is a fairly short novel but there are some masterful works of fiction that clock in even lower than that, like Fahrenheit 451, The Great Gatsby, Slaughterhouse Five, and The Outsiders.
I’ve completed multiple NaNoWriMos and am looking forward to jumping in again this year. I’m anxious, a bit, because I’ve picked up quite a bit of freelancing, but if I could do NaNo while working for NEA, I can certainly do it while freelancing. This year’s novel is a YA novel. I wrote a YA novel years ago during NaNo called SnapShots that is the predecessor to this book. It’s not a prequel or part one. It will never see publication. But writing it made me realize that there was a different story there… and that the novel I wrote was the background I needed to write to get to the real story. Part of me is tempted to blog it… but most of me wants to keep it all to myself. I’m not really ready to share it – I want to bask in the idea and the little things I’ve planned for it. I want to avoid discussing it with others and getting feedback mid process that might disrupt my creative flow. Because that’s a big part of NaNo.
The way to get a novel done in a month is to write 1,667 words per day and to not think too much. And not to edit at all. I’ve been very successful except when I don’t stick to those two rules. When I overthink. When I delve in and start picking apart. So while I’ve done a lot of planning and would love to share all about it, I’m going to try and just charge through without doing any editing or overthinking.
That said, I may share real gems of sentences that don’t give much away on Fridays.
If you’re interested in learning more or jumping in (I joined a day before my first year) you can check out NaNoWriMo here and sign up – it’s free!