Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNo is a go-go:

I think the face I am pulling here, in this delightfully-grainy webcam photo, is a look of cautious optimism -- either that, or concern for my mental welfare. Maybe it's a little bit of both.

Last year, I bemoaned the fact that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated) falls ridiculously, cruelly, in November -- almost the worst month possible for such an undertaking, for those of us in the southern hemisphere at least. I mean, there's just so much happening, including (or sometimes especially) the end of semester finals and all the joy that comes with that.

This year, however, I'm already done with uni (thank you, bizarre trimester system) and although everything else is still happening, that is one sizable chunk of stress delight which I don't need to think about. I only made this realisation about two weeks ago, and the lightbulb moment brought with it glowing feelings of enthusiasm and a little madness. I could do NaNo this year. I could actually do it.

So I'm going to. And by "do it", I mean "attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days." I know the frenzy is part of it, and I'd really really love to reach that ridiculous finish line, but at the same time I'm excited just to be giving it a go, regardless of the consequences. I've waited years for this! Who else is joining in?

Of course, I feel ridiculously under-prepared. Friends I know have been outlining for weeks (months!) now, and many have their majestic plots all neatly laid out and ready for the prose work to begin. I have a half-baked idea that has been growing in urgency and interest for me, but which still has no clear ending, even though the characters are starting to make themselves known. This isn't my ideal scenario. I'd love to have a fabulous plot outline drawn up, with names and faces and character sketches of all the major players. As it is, however, I just keep getting more and more odd little ideas and filing them away mentally. I take comfort from the fact that NaNo founder Chris Baty seems to have taken the same approach as me every year he's actually participated. Somehow, out of his personal madness and lack-of-plan, novels have emerged.

That's my goal, too. Just a novel. Not a great novel or even a good one, but in the true spirit of Ann Lamott, I just want to have another really trashy first draft under my belt, written in the haze and frenzy of one busy month. It'll be a good kick-start to the writing system during these Summer holidays, when I'd like to get lots of words flowing.

What am I planning to write? Well, it's a buddy story with biblical allusions, and it's set in dystopian Brisbane -- which is frozen, no less. Also, there are aliens, because, well, because.

Yes, please go ahead and laugh. I am.

And while I may be laughing, I'm also super, super looking forward to this. I might just be a little bit in love with my main characters already. Onward!

24 comments:

  1. how exciting! very tempted to join you but i neither have an idea nor spare minute in my November. excited to see what you come up with!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dani, your life is so full I can't imagine you having a spare SECOND. Your work is nanowrimo pitch on a regular basis anyway, so I take my hat off to you!

      Delete
  2. Dystopian? Frozen? Aliens? Sounds awesome, I likes. A whole heap of friends of mine from www.holyworlds.org are participating too, if you want to word war with someone. :D I'm having a half-hearted attempt at NaNo (maybe) with a roughly outlined first novel in a trilogy I'm planning. My previous attempts have never amounted to much, but even if I don't win this year, I intend to finish this novel at least. All the best with yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And with yours! Tell me more about your project; what's your novel about?

      Delete
  3. Can I pleeeeease read it when you're done?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, you can have it. This idea is probably one of the worst things I could think to do. However, I loved your post, I love it how you thank random things and events and actually laughed out loud when you thanked bizarre trimester system! I was already chuckling to myself again when you said go ahead and laugh but I was glad to know I was allowed :). One thing I do like about this is the fact that YOU are going to do it and I love the sound of your plot and would definitely like to read it when you're done. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me edit it -- A LOT -- first, okay?

      Delete
  5. Although I respect your goal, I will not read your novel; at least not yet. First I want to buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sure you'll do a great job with NaNo! Part of me wishes I was doing it this year, but I've only attempted it once and it was NOT a great experience - too stressful and tendonitis-inducing. November is the worst month for it in the Northern Hemisphere too. Why can't they do it in March or April??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right?? I think April would be a much better month!

      Delete
  7. 50,000 words in one month? Impossible. But obviously not for you, because you're clever like that. My hat comes off to you.

    (P.S. LOVE that it's set in in Brisbane. BEST.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't promise to write 50,000 *good* words -- just 50,000 words, good, bad, or ugly! That makes the process a bit easier :D

      Delete
  8. I tried to comment on this last night when I was using my iPad, but it was not a fan of letting me post anything. Two comments vanished into the ether and I seriously considered introducing said iPad to a nearby wall with force. Since it's provided by my work, I had to refrain.

    But to return to the point of your post: good luck with NaNo! Your idea sounds like so much fun, which will surely be the ultimate inspiration to keep going until you reach your goal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad your iPad survived, even though it sounds like it probably deserved whatever you wanted to dish out to it.

      Yes! My idea had to have a certain level of crazy in it, just so it provided lots of jumping-off points for rambling whenever I lost steam.

      Delete
  9. I have no idea why I decided to do it. I have almost no chance of finishing it. The Nano site told me as much! At my current rate I won't finish till 16 December.

    Good luck though! Can I read it when you're finished?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your word count is looking GOOOD though! Well done, you!

      Delete
  10. Yay NaNo!!! :)
    Cara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay yay!! I owe you a reply to your email and to see how you're going!

      Delete
  11. I should do Pseudo NaNoWriMo, since I have to write 80,000 words of term papers this month...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 80,000 words?? MAN. I hope you're surviving okay!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...