Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's almost Nanowrimo!

Okay, I can't stand it anymore. I have to talk about Nanwrimo.

Some of you are going "Huh? What's Nanowhowhat?". Some are you are groaning "Oh no! Not another person obsessed with it!". And then there are a few of you who are jumping up and down in excited agreement.

If you are one of the "Huh?" people, you can go to the website or less time consuming, their What is Nanowrimo? page in their FAQ's. If even that's more then you want to bother with, basically it's a crazy project that they expect about 70,000 people to participate in this year. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. That's right, you're not confused. All these people will attempt to write a novel in a single month. The month of November to be specific. And no, no one said anything about writing a good novel. Most people don't even finish. I think the success rate is about 20%. Is that right? I'm too lazy to go check right now.

Last year was my first attempt and I managed to drag myself across the finish line against great odds. It was the most fun I've ever had doing something insane! I had to set it all aside on December 1st to "do" the holidays last year and I went through terrible withdrawals. I missed the break neck speed, the focus, the comraderie of all the other crazy Nano writers.

Sadly, by the time I'd finished my holiday commitments, I'd lost my momentum and then I got sidetracked by other things and.... sigh. I checked into the Nano forums now and then over the last year, but I never managed to get back to finishing or editing my story. (My story hit 50,000 words, the criteria for "winning", but I didn't actually wrap up the story - it needs at least 20-30k more words.)

Regardless, none of that has stopped me from getting excited about being able to do it all over again this November. I started to check the website regularly in late September, waiting for it to be "reset" on the first of October for this year's mad writing dash. Since this year's settings have been available, I have spent more and more time every day getting ready for the starting line on November 1.

Mainly I've spent the last week angsting over having not settled on a story. I knew from last year that I wanted to do a few things differently. Specifically I wanted to try first person voice. And while I really loved last year's characters, the story was set up to fit into the Young Adult genre, which meant I couldn't do anything too wild or off color. I wanted to have more freedom with my characters this year.

I spent a lot of my hours behind the wheel this weekend juggling plot possibilities. I didn't manage to find a new plot. In fact I ended up discarding all the ideas I already had filed away as potential projects. But I did manage to find a couple of brand new characters I was excited enough about getting to know that I knew I could easily spend 30 straight days with them. And today, jackpot! I was able to sit down and shuffle around what I already knew about them until it all snapped together into a framework for a P-L-O-T!

It's not like I've got it all figured out yet. I still don't know how almost everything is gonna to happen! But it's a huge thing to have that framework. Without it, I can't answer any questions. With it, all I have to do is ask the right questions and answers will follow. Eventually. With a lot of coffee and head banging and "arghhhing" and .... but still - that's the FUN part. Mwahahahahahaha! (And you were still kinda hanging on to the possibility that I was a normal person?")

It's hard to explain but trust me - from where I'm sitting - I have a story! Oh! I know how to explain it - It's like seeing that double stripe on the pregnancy test. You're pregnant! Part of you knows, especially if it's not your first child, that there's a lot of work (and let's be honest, pain) in your future. But at that moment of discovery, all you can do is think about that new little one you're going to bring into the world. You aren't ready to complain about stretch marks or poopy diapers or sleepness nights. You're too smitten with how miraculous it is that a tiny person is growing inside you. You're imagining how cute, how brilliant, how perfect he or she will be! It is sooooo exciting!!!!

Well, it was exciting a while ago when I decided I wanted to write about it. Now, a few hours later, my batteries are in serious need of recharging and so I'm mostly excited about pushing "Publish" on this post and dragging myself off to bed. But trust me, it's.... yawnnnnn.... it's most definitely exciting to have my plot and my characters, let's finish off this analogy, conceived and gestating. I can hardly wait to see what happens next!

One more thing before I turn off the computer and pull up the covers. If you, too, decide to take this wild Nano ride, let me know and we can add each other to our Nano buddy lists so we can check on each other's progress, spur each other on, remind each other to drink more coffee, eat more chocolate. Hey, writing is hard work - we need the extra energy. (Oh yeah, it's not a cult. Uhn-uh. Not Nano. Trust me. Would I lie to you?)

Okay, good night.

I need to name my characters.....

I need a title......

Okay, I'm going! I'm not gonna write anything else tonight. I need to figure out whether or not the protagonist is going to...




Blogger JulieZS said...

I'm glad you are going to Nano again! I think I will make the attempt once more, and maybe crawl across the finish line for the first time.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Sparkling Diamond said...

OK, you're gonna love how I stumbled upon your blog! First, I was googling (actually using ask.com...but saying 'googling' is so much cooler to say)Bohemian. One thing led to another and I inquired about blogs that ahd anything 'Bohemian' and came across your post about the book, Bohemian Style. So, after enjoying the post, I clicked over to your newest post...and it is about Nano...now, why was I 'googling' Bohemian? Cuz I wanna do Nano and my premise will be an urban fantasy of bohemians! Your post made me want to do this even more! (I tried many years ago...its tough!) But, I figured it would kill several creative birds in my life with one stone :)
I'll be back!

12:40 PM  

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