Friday, November 1, 2013

And we begin...NaNoWriMo 2013

It's finally November! And most writers know what that means: National Novel Writing Month! It's sort of an unofficial holiday in my opinion. Although I might not participate every year, I certainly love to celebrate it! This is the time of year where people from all walks of life come together and write for an entire month. I can already feel the creativity simmering in the air! It's like magic!

For those of you who might not be familiar with this event, here's a little info from the NaNoWriMo website to explain things:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel. Here’s a little more about how it all works.

 A little about why writers subjected themselves to this form of creative torture/bliss:

NaNoWriMo is all about using the magical power of deadlines to tell your story. Give someone a goal and a goal-minded community and miracles are bound to happen. Pies will be eaten at amazing rates. Alfalfa will be harvested like never before. And novels will be written in a month.

Part of the reason we organize NaNoWriMo is just to get a book written. We love the fringe benefits accrued to novelists. For one month out of the year, we can stew and storm, and make a huge mess of our apartments and drink lots of coffee at odd hours. And we can do all of these things loudly, in front of people. As satisfying as it is to reach deep within yourself and pull out an unexpectedly passable work of art, it is equally (if not more) satisfying to be able to dramatize the process at social gatherings.

But that artsy dram window is woefully short. The other reason we do NaNoWriMo is because the glow from making big, messy art, and watching others make big, messy art, lasts for a long, long time. The act of sustained creation does bizarre, wonderful things to you. It changes the way you read. And changes, a little bit, your sense of self. We like that.

So that describes it just about perfectly! But, you'll want to check out their website for yourself to discover all the neat writerly things NaNoWriMo has to offer. I especially love the word count widgets. I just love to see them grow! There's a forum where you can log on to chat with other writers. You can also get a group of writing buddies together and keep track of each other's progress. It's very stimulating when you might feel stuck on a scene. You must keep writing! Absolutely NO EDITING! Just get the words down on paper (or computer screen!) and you can edit later. As Nora Roberts says, "You can't edit a blank page."

The hardest thing about NaNoWriMo (for me!) is deciding what story I want to write. I have so many ideas, dreams, snippets of lines that I know will lead to a scene, which leads to a story, and so on. I'm not much for plotting since I follow more of a pantster method about writing a novel, but I've found that plotting, even just a minimal amount of it, does help immensely with keeping the story moving forward. Once you pause in your writing, even for a day or so, it slows you down so much you might not be able to catch up. At least, that's how it works for me. So, choosing a story that I know the beginning, middle and end of is vitally important.

Now I'm off to work on my own NaNo story! I've got a word count to add to! If you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year, please feel free to add me as a writing buddy! You can check out my profile. Now let's write!

Happy Writing!

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