Here we are, less than a week until November and NaNoWriMo! I have done some good brainstorming for my novel, gathered some good ideas, some characters, settings, plot devices, etc. I’m generally feeling pretty excited. I think I can do this!
I also just checked out a book from the library, No Plot, No Problem, by Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo’s founder. It’s a fun little book, just 50,000 words itself, with a lot of great hints and helps for the writer seriously considering NaNoWriMo. They break it down pretty well – 50,000 words in a month is just 1,666 words per day, which the average typist can hammer out in a couple of hours. That doesn’t sound too bad. There are also some great hints at how to beef up your word count, should you find yourself a little short, from describing a room in excruciating detail, to having one of your characters go partially deaf so that everything needs to be repeated, to changing you character’s name from one word to two, from Jane to Jane Marie. Automatic extra words! It may be cheating, but that’s not the point of NaNoWriMo.
This project is not out to punish people who can’t write 50,000 words, but instead to show people that anybody can do it. It really isn’t that hard, if you want to do it. There are some testimonials from people who have succeeded in the past, and several say that they only had a few thousand words coming into the last week of the month, but were still able to barely pass the 50,000 mark by the last day. It can be done. I think that’s the encouragement that I need. It doesn’t take much time, but it does take effort. And honestly, I really do have the time. Even if I’m in school, and working, and expecting my first child by the 30th of November. (If all goes well, I could have two babies on that day, my son and my finished novel) I guess I just better make sure that I am ahead of schedule, as this kid may just come early, and who knows what that would do to my writing schedule!
I am also a little bit nervous about my Internal Editor, as he called it. There is a section in this book where he says that you need to lock up your Internal Editor in a kennel, don’t let him anywhere near your novel. If you find that by chapter 7, that chapter 3 has problems – just keep writing. NaNoWriMo is for First Draft writing, there’ll be time later for rewriting and revising. It sounds all well and good when you’re talking about it, but actually turning off the Internal Editor may be harder than that. I just need to tell myself to keep writing, no matter what happens, no matter what makes sense or doesn’t. I will write 50,000 words and have a complete novel that I can later go back and edit to make perfect. I just need to get this dumb first draft written.
I will be posting regular updates of my word count, and I’m hoping you all will hound me enough that I actually get this done. But, since this will only be a very rough first draft, I probably won’t post much of what I’ve written. I’ll do that later, during the rewrite.
So, Monday is when things get started. Wish me luck! It should be fun. And I will finish the month with a full-fledged 50,000 word novel just waiting for me to fix and refine.