Friday, 25 October 2013

To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo

It's almost time for NaNoWriMo! National Novel Writing Month encourages people to write a novel in November and offers support and encouragement and tools to check your progress. What you will hopefully end up with is a first draft that you can then craft into a novel that people might actually want to read.

As some of you may remember, I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2011 (and still have the badge in my sidebar to prove it!). I produced a first draft that was full of bad dialogue and half sketched out scenes and am still working on it to make it into something readable. I've given up on it totally twice but am currently about half way through a proper first draft. I feel quite confident now that I will one day complete this novel and even that some people might want to read it, if I can find an agent and a publisher.

I certainly think NaNoWriMo is worth it. It pushed me into getting the words down. I could easily otherwise have spent a month perfecting the first paragraph..... It also made me produce a skeleton first draft much quicker than I otherwise would have done, which meant I didn't have the chance to get bored of the whole thing before that stage.

And now I'm really enjoying the process of researching, plotting and writing, though even now I still sometimes come to a full stop and wonder what to write next. Also as a poet whose favourite poetic form is the haiku, writing a novel just needs too many words..... 75000 words at least, 95000 if I'm thinking of marketing it as science fiction.

But enough blogging for today, I've a novel to write....

(This blogpost was inspired partly by a Facebook discussion initiated by Martin Hodges and partly by a discussion in the writing class I facilitated yesterday)

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

10 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

My younger grandson participated in this a couple of years ago. I think it is an excellent idea.

A Cuban In London said...

I had never heard of this initiative. You're right. Sometimes you need the time element to put pressure on yourself.

Greetings from London.

Bill said...

Good luck. Do we know of any published novels that have come out of this process?

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

All my best wishes for your endeavours in writing prose.
The closest I went to that was when I wrote narrative poems in a sequence, two only actually.
Writing a novel is such a monumental thing...especially when I think about E.Catton with The Luminaries who won the Booker. At 28 years of age! And The Luminaries is more than 800 pages long.

EG CameraGirl said...

Hope you stick with it, Julia! It sounds like a great way to keep yourself motivated.

Cat Mom said...

I write much better when I am far away from pad, pencil, or computer. So, no NaNoWriMo for me. However, where I live we have the HoCoPoLitSo which is so much fun to say even without attending the meetings (accent on the Lit). Long live National Novel Writing Month and Howard County Poetry & Literary Society -with or without our participation.

Rabbits' Guy said...

I suspect the NaNoWriMo website will have plenty of information about published novels that resulted from it - it has been going quite awhile. Many locales have work groups that meet during November so there is support to keep writing.

I too have a "novel" in partially-finished form from two years ago. This just might light my fires to go work on it in November! It is about inheriting an old Drive-In Movie theatre which is now used by people to store (and work on) their dreams - such as old boats or dump-trucks!

sage said...

Good luck... I've often ponder the idea and like it, but the fall is a busy time for me.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Bill - the only published novel I've read that came out of NaNoWriMo was Water for Elepahnts but as Rabbits Guy says there must be loads more

I'm not actually doing NaNoWriMo this year, I'm working on my current novel (which doesn't count) but I'll be putting extra effort in in November

Ms Sparrow said...

I did Nano Wrimo in 2011 and I'm still stuck on getting it done. I'm interesting in hearing more about your novel.