brainstorming for NaNoWriMo

11 Oct

So I have discovered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which in its essence is ‘thirty days and nights of literary abandon’.  So between the 1st and 30th of November participants try to write a 50,000 word fiction novel (roughly 1,667 words every day).  And, I figured why not?

This leaves me with a few weeks to settle on an idea for a story which I can visit every day in November with motivation.  Sounds easier in theory than it is in practice.

Do you go the Mark Twain route and ‘write what you know’; or on the premise of having no time for research do you go for wild fantasy where the world is tailored to your tale?

So many ideas, so little time…  And then, you start to think “it’s all been done before” and “how can this be different” and then you reach your worst fear: “what if I get halfway through and I don’t like it anymore?”  It is astonishing how much easier it is to entertain your doubts than it is to commit to creating.

The next couple of weeks I can luxuriate in all the possibilities.  The hundred and one tales I could possibly tell.  Then on the 1st of November, one way or another, I will put pen to paper (or finger to keystroke!) and one of those stories will begin.

And really, in the end, what have I got to lose except for the disappointment of not even trying.



4 Responses to “brainstorming for NaNoWriMo”

  1. Phil October 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    NaNoWriMo is an interesting idea. My co-writer and I are thinking about using it as a vehicle to write the second novel in our series. That’s not because it’s a good idea but just to give us a stick to beat ourselves with to get some writing done instead of procrastinating. We know pretty much what we want to write but once the characters come to life, things have a tendency to change direction. Both fun and frustraiting !

    That said, it’s a heck of a lot of words but people tell us it can be done whilst still living a real life.

    Good luck with your efforts. Even if the result isn’t perfect, it’s a seriouis achievement. Mind you, you only have the first draft, that’s when the hard work begins !

    • emilyelst October 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

      Thanks Phil. It will definitely be a challenge and a part of me is very sceptical about the reality of writing 50,000 words in 30 days with a full time job!

      My main goal with NaNoWriMo is to develop stronger writing discipline, as I will often go days and weeks without working on my writing at all. To give you an idea of the scope of the challenge for me, I started another novel in May and have to date written 12,075 words…

      I also think I’ll get some value in trying a ‘let your hair down’ approach to writing. I tend to continually self edit well I work, and am frequently re-reading previous passages (and chapters), which can be valuable but also sometimes works as it’s own distraction.

      So thirty days of literary abandon! I hope I make it to the end goal with something I can reread and edit in December, but even if I don’t get to 50K I feel quite confident it will be an experience of it’s own 🙂

      Thanks again for your encouragement, and if you want to use NaNoWriMo for an ongoing project you may want to check out the NaNo Rebels. They use the energy of the month of November to achieve other writing goals for themselves…

      • Silbena October 26, 2011 at 11:06 am #

        Actually, for year-round WriMoing, there’s, launched last year. :3

        Don’t feel too worried about hitting the word count — I never wrote anything past 10K before I started WriMo, and on the first year I tried it, I managed over 150K in just one month. The atmosphere in NaNo is so encouraging and inspiring that we can manage hurdles we never thought possible. And you’re absolutely right about the hair-down approach: with NaNo, it’s not about quality, it’s about quantity, and just getting that first draft down.

        Good luck!

      • emilyelst October 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

        Thanks Silbena!

        I am looking forward to it, and I can feel the atmosphere building already. It’s kind of a tingly, potent sense of looming possibility that just makes me want to pick up my pen (or keyboard) and unleash 🙂
        I expect there will be slumps along the way, but what a wonderful community of support to get you back up and typing away again!

        I hope NaNo brings you good creativity this year, and that we both reach November 30 feeling like we achieved something extra this month…

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