Noveling

31 Oct

Well, it’s almost November. You all know what that means, right?

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a thirty-day exercise in insanity creativity, where one attempts of bang out a novel of 50,000 words in a month. It’s based around the premise that anyone can write a book if they really put their nose to the grindstone. (Nothing is said about the quality of said books and with good reason. That’s what editing is for.) Basically, it’s a boot camp for anyone who has ever wanted to write a book. I write better under pressure (you should see some of the term papers I’ve come up with), so NaNo is perfect for me.  While you may think this is crazy, famous books like Sara Gruen’s Water For Elephants started life as a NaNo manuscript.

This is going to be my seventh NaNo. I’ve only failed once, despite rolling computer blackouts, a keyboard without the letter “m”, the agonies of wasting time counting individual words the year I wrote by hand, and one laptop whose screen refused to stay upright. I’ve NaNo-ed in Taiwan, New York, Gainesville, Beijing, and now Chengdu. My topics are generally sci-fi and fantasy; I’ve covered robots, vampires, cyberpunk, ninjas, steampunk, witches, and one very irritable demon. Granted, all of it is complete and utter crap (I know the value of my writing and it is probably very useful as a mulch-like product) but the experience is very fun.

If you live in an area with other Wrimos, communities get together for write-ins, which are kind of like writing support groups: part commiseration, part sugar rush, all fun. Think of a bunch of people sitting around with their laptops, occasionally with weird questions being asked, like, “Does anyone know the flash point for linoleum?” or “what’s a good name for a Lovecraftian horror from beyond the stars that’s fond of ice cream?”. (Shout-out to the awesome Gainesville Wrimo’s – you guys rock.)

This year, I plan on writing this epic by hand. I know, it sounds painful, but really, dragging a notebook around China is much, much easier than my beloved laptop. Plus, it means doodling in the margins.  I don’t have a plot line, or even an idea of what genre I’m going for. I’m the Queen of Random, baby. Planning is for wusses.

I’ll keep you all updated as to how things are going. Given my previous years experience, I will probably be about 20,000 words behind the suggested wordcount or so and then pull off a couple 8,000 word days at the end of the month to squeak by the finish line at the last moment on the 30th. Good times.

You all should head on over to see what the good people at NaNoWriMo* are up to this month. I’d love to recruit someone else into this crazy awesome time.  You can find me there under the name TombCrank the Crafty.

Happy writing!

*The site is almost always down the first few days of November; too many people try to access the servers and it slows down to the equivalent speed of a fast-moving glacier.

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One Response to “Noveling”

  1. Hilma Southand November 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Good information, Thanks for taking the time to put this together!

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