Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nanowrimo explained

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month, a wonderful, creative, neurotic month where we celebrate, we laugh, we cry, and we manically write until our brains melt out of our heads. We spend all night at the computer screen, and the next day trying to shut off an overactive imagination long enough to accomplish our responsibilities. We struggle with time and energy constraints, over caffeination, sleep deprivation, and sometimes the frustration of a blank space where our thoughts should be. It's the month of frenzied writing. It's the month where we type until our fingers are numb. It's the month we ignore the garish marks of the spell checker telling our inner critic to shout at us. It's the month we push forward with one goal in mind: 50,000 words in 30 days. Which breaks down to roughly 1,667 words a day give or take a few. NaNoWriMo was founded in 1999 as a way to encourage everyone who wants to write a book, to do that very thing.

I first tried Nanowrimo in 2007, hoping it would motivate me to finish my first book. I managed to write 38,000 words, falling short of winning, but absolutely convinced that Nanowrimo was the best thing ever invented for motivating writers. I tried again in 2008 and succeeded, getting just over 50,000 words on my second novel and over half-way through it.

I plan to give Nanowrimo another go in 2009. The rest of the year I work on finishing and editing what I started during November. I have my first novel "complete" - as in, it's a complete story, but it's still not complete yet for publication, requiring a lot of rewriting to make it flow better and develop the characters more. I'm debating this upcoming November whether to continue my word count on the second novel, or start my third.

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