I decided to take on the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, an international initiative to encourage writers and would-be writers to produce a 50,000 word novel in a month.
NaNoWriMo Mission Statement
National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.
You can’t help but get bitten by the writing bug because they are so encouraging and enthusiastic and supply prospective writers with all the tools required to create a novel. They guide every member along their novel writing journey providing tips and ideas of how to birth the baby novel that lies in each of us. There are workshops, pep talks and coaches on call throughout the month to answer any questions we may have.
In short – outstanding and very helpful. The only thing they don’t do is actually write the novel for us, and this is where the process gets a bit sticky …. Like most things in life I had not prepared for this exercise in any way whatsoever, so why I was surprised when I realised this needed real work and proper grown-up effort. A flashback of my O’Levels came scurrying through my brain.
Writing 50,000 words in a 30 day period equates to approximately 1,667 words per day. If it sounds like a lot that’s because it is. In fact it’s a massive undertaking when you realise that your would be novel has a beginning, a middle and an end but absolutely no sub-plots, twists, turns or additional points of conflict. I have been so used to entering Flash Fiction competitions or jotting down these whimsical blogs that my word count is usually at 1,000 words tops – not much room for an additional verb let alone a red herring!
However it has made me realise that I really do want to write a book no matter how bad and no matter how long it takes. Considering my word count of today is 2,450 words I’m 17,554 words behind target with an estimated finish date of Sunday 15th July 2018!
I’m always in awe of published authors every time I finish a book and admire their tenacity to complete their story which started out as a tiny twinkle of idea. They, unlike me are not distracted by the 2nd Series of Greenleaf, the ironing or Indiana Jones movies, they get on and do it – which is what I will continue to do, soon as I’ve made a cup of hot chocolate and eaten a piece of Dorset apple cake.
Would love to hear from anyone who is also taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge.