Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This

Taking a break from the conference to read and answer emails.

My critique partners and I have been discussing NaNoWriMo this morning.

For those non-writers among you, that's National Novel Writing Month. This November will be the ninth year that would-be writers set out to write a 50,000-word novel in one month, from November 1 to November 30. That's 1,667 words a day or a little bit under seven pages a day (double spaced, 12-point font, with one-inch margins). The idea is to focus on output that you can edit and clean up later.

If you're interested in NaNoWriMo, go here to read about it.

I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2005, and the experience nearly killed me. My style of writing does not lend itself to just writing without any editing at all. To force myself to write and not worry about the quality of the writing is very, very difficult for me. Add to that the fact that it occurs in November right at the cusp of the Holidays, and it's almost more than I can manage.

Jeanne Laws, my critique partner, has a submission due to Samhain and Tracy, my marvelous editor, is getting impatient with me--with good reason. So...I'm actually considering doing a version of NaNoWriMo with the stipulation that we have to be finished before Thanksgiving. We'd probably start mid-October and end the week before Thanksgiving.

I'm writing this here now to close any loopholes I might try to wiggle out of later.

Any would-be writers out there who want to join us?


Church Lady said...

Hmmm...I've never done this. Sounds brutal and fun at the same time.

Are you seriously getting a group, and seriously willing to accept bloggers?

I have an idea for a dark humor/children's middle grade. I think it would be great to write it like this, without editing along the way.

Maya Reynolds said...

CL: I'm serious about a group of us doing this, and I don't see why anyone couldn't join in.

Right now, it's me and possibly two CPs. I'm going to canvass my other CPs (Maria and Linda: are you out there?) One CP is on vacation and can't participate.

If we get at least a dozen people, I'd be willing to set up a Yahoo group where we could encourage each other every day.

You do realize, I'm making this up as I go, don't you?

Maria Zannini said...

What's your start time, Maya? I've got to go out of town this weekend.

But I'm in, if only to add to the bloodbath of unedited words.

Church Lady said...

I'm in! And the timing is great for me because we have a wedding to go to over Thanksgiving break.


I'm counting EVERY single word, okay!!

Maya Reynolds said...

Okay, we have Church Lady, Maria, Linda, Jeanne, Sherrill, Marie and me.

Anyone else want to join the game?

Jeanne has a deadline of October 8th. For that reason, we're talking about starting October 10th and going for thirty days. I think that brings us to November 8th. That way we'll be done in plenty of time to get ready for Thanksgiving.

The quality of your writing doesn't matter. It's about the quantity--with the understanding that you'll go back and edit afterward.

The Anti-Wife said...

Bad timing for me. I have to go to Kauai for a week at the end of Oct beginning of Nov. I would so much rather be sitting at my computer pounding out the words. But I promise to think of you all and send words of encouragement onto the warm winds as I walk on the shore of the Pacific Ocean with some yet to be determined cocktail in my hand.

Maya Reynolds said...

AW: Hawaii in November. A tough job, but I guess someone has to do it.

Think kindly of those you left behind.

Margaret said...

I'm a NaNo addict. I say I'm not doing it every year, and end up the week before dragging out an outline and trying to refresh my memory on the idea :). Luckily a friend keyed me into outlining in advance.

That said, there's no way I can do NaNo early. I have to finish Con Shirt before I can start something new and still have about 23k to go. Besides, I need the extra time to figure out what I'll be writing :).

So good luck to all of you. It's exhilerating and a great way to turn a so-so year (if you happen to be having one) into a "I wrote a novel" year :D.


ChaunaMyles said...

I'd love to do it. I am trying to finish a manuscript - that is a novella gone wild - before starting a new project for NaNoWriMo.

Maya Reynolds said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Margaret.

Chauna: We'd be happy to have you join us.