Tuesday, September 28, 2010
As October will be arriving on Friday, this week I'm going to start gearing up to (unofficially) join in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, which takes place every year for the entire month of November. During this annual novel-a-thon, writers all over the world will attempt to complete a book (to win, it must be 50,000 words in length). It's storytelling without a net, a deadline without mercy, and very real practice at what it takes to be a pro.
It's also more fun than you can imagine, because other than the target wordcount there are no rules. You just write a novel -- any novel you want -- exactly the way you want to write it.
I always have a couple of stories percolating in the back of my brain, so my first step is to create a dream list of ideas. Right now the ideas that are clamoring the loudest for some attention involve:
Valori, Ethan and Nathan (you'll meet them in January when Frostfire hits the shelves)
Kyan and Melanie from Twilight Fall
Lucan and Samantha (will they ever leave me alone? Probably not.)
Alex Davidov from Omega Games
Kari and Connor from After Midnight
Rainer and Farlae from Evermore
The list will probably get longer. It always does.
Last year I wrote something I'd never tried, an experimental genre fusion novel that I later finished and is at this moment making the rounds in NY. The departure from my usual work was a little scary at first, but once I hit my stride with the story the energy that came out of it was amazing. I couldn't wait to get to the keyboard every day -- and that was something at the time that I needed to recapture; that wild, get-out-of-my-way kind of writing.
NaNoWriMo isn't about getting published (or staying published), it's about us, what we do, and a whole month to celebrate it. Don't get me wrong, it's hard work, but with the right mindset it can also be a month-long party at the keyboard. All you have to do is dive in and start storytelling.
So tell me, how many of you are going to NaNo this year? Are you planning on doing anything new, different, or unusual with your November novel? Let us know in comments.