Monday, 24 October 2011

NaNoWriMo: FOR REAL

Thanks to Kaz Mahoney for this logo!
Hello, hello, hello, Dear Readers! As the dread, chilly fingers of Monday once again winkle us out from the over-stuffed, cloudy warmth of the weekend, I bring you some momentous news:

I have signed up for NaNoWriMo!

For those of you who have no idea why I'm typing out apparently random combinations of vowels and consonents, I'll clarify. That's National Novel Writing Month, where writers from all over the world join together in their attempt to write a novel (here defined as a work of fifty thousand words or more) in the month of November. Yes, that's right. 50k in 30 days. Yes, it does sound utterly impossible - we'll come back to that later. In the meantime, here's a link to the official NaNo website.

My participation is provisional on me finishing revisions of Big Secret Project Book One before the end of this month (since the rules of NaNo state that you must work on something new) but I've got my fingers firmly crossed that I'll manage it. Actually, I'm really looking forward to it.

I've never really had much interest in NaNo before. I've seen lots of writers talking about it, including one lovely member of my lovely writer's group, but since every year when it rolled around I was either in the middle of revising something, or writing something else - and I'm not the kind of writer who enjoys working on more than one project at once - I just didn't bother to enquire further. So if I DO manage to get my revisions done in time, this will be my first ever time participating in NaNoWriMo.

Frankly, it's all Twitter's fault. And by Twitter, I mean writer-pal Cat Clarke and blogger-pal Vivienne DaCosta. They were all excited and enabling about it. They made it sound like huge fun instead of a hassle. Before I knew what I was doing, I was signing up.

My NaNo project will be - no huge surprise here - Big Secret Project Book Two! Which is part of the reason I'm looking forward to it because, you see, 50k in 30 days is not as impossible as it sounds.

Firstly, if you write 1666 words (that's about seven handwritten pages for me) per day every day, you'll succeed. Since I try to write about ten pages, or 2000 words per day, between five and six days of the week, and sometimes manage more, that's not out of the realms of sanity.

Secondly, when I was writing Shadows on the Moon, and I took my customary two weeks off before starting the revision process, I got a wild hair and actually wrote 40,000 words off a Twilight spoof novel (yes, yes, I know it's been done - and no, no, you are NEVER going to see it). And that was while I was working thirty hours a week at my soul-destroying office job. So if I can write (on average) 2857 words per day while working in The Pit of Despond (and having my soul destroyed, let's not forget that) surely I can write 1666 per day as a full-time writer while my soul is pink-cheeked and rosy?

And since the first draft of the first book of Big Secret Project is 73,000 words long - and I hope the second book will follow that pattern - 50k would be huge chunk of work done, leaving me lots of extra time for revising it and making it the best it can possibly be.

Here is my brand spanking new NaNoWriMo profile. I shall be updating it with my word count throughout the month of November, if you're interested to see how I'm getting along.

I also have reason to believe that I will be giving you more news about Big Secret Project some time in the near future - so keep your fingers crossed!

25 comments:

Megha said...

Yay! I'm doing it too, but a MUCH smaller goal. I'm doing the Young Writers' Program NaNoWriMo in which I get to choose my goal :-)

Oh, by the way, I like the new layout at the bottom of each post - the 'You Might Also Like' thingy.

Zoë Marriott said...

Megha: Hurray! Let's all get into the Nano spirit :) Glad you like the new blog feature - I just wish I'd thought of it before.

Deva Fagan said...

Good luck! I think for the right project, NaNoWriMo can work fabulously. I actually wrote my first pubbed novel for NaNo back in 2003.

I hope BSP#2 is as much fun for you as BSP#1 has been!

Zoë Marriott said...

Deva: Thanks for the encouragement! I'm always surprised by how many published writers got their start with a NaNo novel, considering how sniffy certain ppl get about Nano :)

I *hope* that BSP#2 is the right kind of project for this, since it's got a contemporary setting and doesn't require long periods of researching and world-building like other things I've written. But we'll have to see!

Vivienne said...

Oh I feel guilty now! Being named and shamed as a NaNoWriMo pusher. LOL. It is going to be fun!

Zoë Marriott said...

Vivienne: You're lucky they've not made it illegal, you shameless enabler, you! :)

Emma Pass said...

Wow - that still sounds like a lot of words in 30 days to me! Perhaps I'll be brave enough to sign up next year. :) Good luck!

Hannah said...

Yay! I've been hoping you might do! I'd friend you but NaNo haven't opened up that feature yet *shakes fist*. And screw the rules - NaNo's all about the community. The extra writerly-push is just a bonus. I probably won't even hit 50k (did 40k last year) but I sure as hell am gonna try. Would like this to eventually (after many, many, many revisions) be something publishable so *touch wood* and good luck to you! (My profile's linked to the button in my blog's sidebar)

Cat Clarke said...

I have no idea what you're talking about.

*cackles*

Rebecca Lindsay said...

I'd never heard about that before. How long has it been around? It must be great that you are doing BSP#2 :)
I might give it a go next year, I'd never manage 50k in 30 days lol

Zoë Marriott said...

Emma: Well, even if I don't make it, hopefully it'll motivate me to get a chunk of that first draft down on paper. Which is the important thing.

Hannah: I'm still a bit of a N00b about how the friending and forum stuff works, but hopefully I'll work it out. Being part of this great, motivated community is the reason I'm excited about Nano!

Cat: Ha! I've seen your confession right there on your blog, you shameless woman! I know you did it on purpose!

Rebecca: Wow, really? It's pretty famous - have you never noticed anyone burbling on about it before? I think it's been going nearly a decade. Well, you learn something new every day, right?

amy_celestia said...

Good luck! :)
I'm doing NaNoWriMo too, I've had a story badgering me all summer and it just needs to be written! Not yet sure how I'm going to juggle it with work, college and making a portfolio for uni though D:

Zoë Marriott said...

Amy: Good luck! Even if you don't managed to 'win' Nano, hopefully it'll motivate you to find the time to get started amidst all your other commitments. Which I think is the real point of Nano.

Jenni (Juniper's Jungle) said...

So glad to hear you're doing it too, I think twitter is going to be awash with NaNo chat and support throughout November!

Zoë Marriott said...

Jenni: I hope you're right! I'll need as much support as I can get!

NicoleL said...

I think I might be insane, but I'm considering doing it too --- I just haven't taken that step of signing up online. Scary commitment! But it helps to know others who are doing it too. Go you!

Zoë Marriott said...

Nicole: well, you don't HAVE to sign up, if it's too much of a commitment. I know several people who're just doing it as a private challenge. Whatever works!

Isabel said...

Yay! So exciting! Someday in the future I will participate in NaNoWriMo, but for now, I'll definitely be cheering you on from the sidelines! :) Good luck!

Also, have you thought of any ideas for titles for BSP? (Even if that still doesn't mean you can tell us anything?)

Isabel said...

By the way, I'm going through this HUGE Florence and the Machine phase! I just LOVE her! And I'm so excited about her upcoming album, can't wait to buy it... :)

Emily said...

I'm doing NaNo for the first time this year, and I'm so excited! Good luck with your Big Secret Project!

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you, Emily - good luck with your Nano project too :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Oh, I already HAVE titles. And I love, love, love those titles! But I can't really put them out there until I have things nailed down, so for the moment they must remain a mystery.

I too am a huge Florence fan, and I cannot *wait* for Ceremonials to come out. I expect to get a whole new writing soundtrack out of that album.

A.J. Mullarky said...

I wrote my most recent book in two weeks, but I've never been able to do NaNo - November always seems to be so busy! Lots of essay deadlines. Good luck though :) And by the way, I gave your blog an award!

Zoë Marriott said...

Alex: Oh. Well. I suppose 50k isn't THAT many words after all...

Thank you very much for the award!

Rebecca Lindsay said...

No, this was the first time I've heard about it. Wow, I am really out of the loop lol

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