National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo 2009 ParticipantToday is the first day of  National Novel Writing Month, popularly known as NaNoWriMo. Around ten years ago, a group of around 20 friends in California got together and made a pact that they would each write a 50,000 word novel.  Several of them actually completed their goal.  Since then, the event has grown to the point that this year’s event has over 100,000 participants around the globe, all of whom have made that exact same commitment to 50,000 words.  Feeling suitably inspired, I signed up around a fortnight ago.

I started my novel at midnight last night and wrote five hundred or so words quite quickly.  The problem is that I don’t know what happens next. I’ve started my novel with no preconceived plot, characters or settings. However, fortunately for me, the goal is emphatically not to write the perfect novel, it is simply to write 50,000 words into a first draft.  This means that I can just play it by ear, and however terrible the resulting novel is, providing that I complete the requisite number of words, I will be a winner.  The pace that is set by the 30th November deadline means that there is no time to agonise over plot points, or rework the beginning to fit better with the middle.  All the words that I write count as they are, and time spent changing them does not help me move towards the required total.  The trick is to plough on.

Traditionally, I’ve not been very good at writing big things. I’m hoping that my participation in NaNoWriMo will break through the barriers that inhibit my writing, silence my inner critic, and end in victory and 50,000 words.

If you’re a fellow traveller, then I would love to be your buddy on the NaNo site - click on the graphic to visit my profile.  If not then wish me luck - I’m going to need it!