Raise your hand if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year.
Okay, this being the internet (and me not being a creepy webcam-stalker) means that I can’t see you. So I guess commenting would be more appropriate there.*
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo is an annual event during which writers all over the world (yes, even Antarctica one year) attempt to write 50,000+ words of a novel in one month. This equals 1667 words per day, assuming a steady pace and no days off. You can write the 50,000 in the first week and nothing the rest of the month if you want to. Or leave it all to the last minute, which is… it’s generally not a good plan. Trust me.
I’ve participated every year since 2010, when a (very) rough draft of the then-untitled Bound was my project. And then I lost almost all of it in a software-related mishap, but that’s another story. Since then I’ve won a few, “lost” one (though I don’t think anyone loses as long as you get some words down), and participated in several Camp NaNo sessions. I drafted Torn in 2012 and thoroughly revised it in 2013. It was much better the second time around.
Okay, technically revisions are not allowed by NaNo rules. But I did change/add 50,000 words, so I counted it.
And it looks like this year I might just be a NaNo rebel again. Or maybe not.
See, if all goes well, I’m going to have the first draft of my current project finished by November 1 or shortly thereafter. Even though I blasted past 50,000 words in a private NaNo in October, I can’t count any of those words for the event. So I can’t use that project.
I need to do another editing pass on Torn before it goes to my editor in December. I need to make a few plot and character adjustments to better lead into book 3, plant a few ideas in there to bloom later (being a time traveller is fun!), do a sweep for over-used words and other issues that are going to make editing more expensive. I have to start that ASAP.
And I can’t count it.
During Camp NaNoWriMo, one hour of editing = 1000 words on the progress bar. Not so in November. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think I can take my cheating that far.
This makes it a little difficult to join in on the NaNo prep excitement. I miss it.
So Here’s What I’m Going to Do:
- I’m going to bust my ass to get Torn finished quickly. I’m going to work every hour I’m at home without the kids. I’ll use NaNo word sprint events and Facebook write-ins to keep me focused, I will get organized before I start, and hopefully I’ll get it done in a week or two.
- And then I’m going to start something for NaNoWriMo. It’ll be a late start, as I can’t have my attention divided when I’m editing as many people can.** I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I might go back to my as-yet-unpublished vampires***, because I’ve had a lot of fun with that. I might buckle down and flesh out the plot for that gempunk thing I started for a flash fiction challenge. Maybe, if I just want to relax and play with something that will never see the light of day, I’ll get to that erotic ghost story. Why not have fun? I’ve been busting my ass to get the Bound trilogy done. I can’t stop writing, but maybe I can just play for a few weeks.
- As for pulling off a win… it’s probably not going to happen this year. I have to make editing the priority, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be right in there. I’ll be participating in groups and forums if I find time, cheering my writing buddies on,
neglecting the housework. I wish I could say I’ll go to write-ins, but we don’t get those out here.
- But darn it, I’m going to have fun.
And then after that it’ll be just chilling and relaxing and…
*accepts note from disembodied hand*
Wait, no. After that it’ll be biting my nails while Torn is with my editor, then
surviving enjoying Christmas, then the stress and pressure to get the edits done so that I can get it out to second-round readers and get proofreading done and formatting and figuring out promotional stuff and planning a party and uploading for pre-order–
So November should be a cakewalk compared to January and February is what I’m really saying.
It’s a good thing I like my readers. 🙂
For more on my experiences with NaNoWriMo and why it’s the only reason I ever wrote more than three chapters of a novel, see this post. I talk a lot about perfectionism there… we’ll have to revisit the topic some time.
If you’re participating, drop your username in the comments or just go ahead and add me as a buddy.
If not, we can still be buddies.
*Do you guys SEE how well my brain is working today? I know. It’s bonkers.
**I don’t hate you. I’m just jealous.
***Resurrection is the working title of the first novella, Sanctuary is the 1/3 finished second one. I’m starting to notice a theme…