Tuesday, October 10, 2006

National Novel Writing Month 2006

NaNoWriMo: 50,000 words in one month. Doesn’t sound like much. At least it didn’t to me until I looked further and calculated the 175 pages NaNoWriMo estimates as total output require six pages to be written each day in November.

If you’re not a writer, producing six pages of fiction a day probably doesn’t seem nearly as difficult as producing a single five-paragraph essay on the meaning of a Shakespearean soliloquy. Surely not as tough as turning out a six-pager covering the effects of HOV lanes on traffic congestion at rush hour. It’s fiction. You just make it up.

As a writer with one completed literary novel and a mystery series groping toward the light, I know all too well that six pages a day is a lot of making up! In fact, it’s been proven that crawling back and forth through the eye of a needle is far easier than writing six pages of fiction in a single day.

Just practicing.

NaNoWriMo rules explicitly state that while planning before the first is fine, beginning the novel is a no-no. They’re not kidding when they say you must write 50,000 words in one month. With three kids and a home-based business, November could prove to be painful….

Still. The idea of having written 50,000 words sang to me even as said home-based business and children clamored for attention. My husband would be the first to point out that any spare moment I might ever hope to have at any time in my life, let alone the month of November, should be spent on something more productive than writing another novel. I do sort of covet a house that looks like a picture in a magazine. And a minivan that’s clean enough to eat out of without having the meal already literally present. But who’s to say which moments in my day are the spares? And the prompt at NaNoWriMo just sat there waiting for my response.

How could I not sign up?

National Novel Writing Month:
No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

(Founder of National Novel Writing Month)

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