Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Counting down to November novel madness

participant iconWell, the time has come. The 2007 National Novel Writing Month begins in a few hours. If you or someone you know has accepted the challenge of writing a 50,000 word draft novel in 30 days you are aware of the emotional roller coaster that the previous days have given way to.

My experience has been a bit different from the average Nano-er I have been chatting with for the past several weeks. Most of my comrades in insanity have been given to increasing panicky episodes about find a plot, losing their plot and having their planned main characters run away. I on the other hand, and a few others though definitely in the minority, had a minor meltdown over deciding whether to sign-up and be legitimate this year. It took three days of up and down, and back and forth, debating between the two sides of my brain but signing up won out. Being decided and getting Baty's book from the library made a big difference in my outlook on the project.

If Nano is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants project why read an instruction manual?

Baty's book is not just a how-to manual in the sense of begin here, do certain steps and viola the novel emerges at the other end. The book is really more like a 12 Step meeting. A person older in the program sharing his experience, strength, and hope. He reports that he has said and heard in his head every negative comment deemed to stop the Nano-ist in his or her tracks. To that he has just one piece of advice, if you do it you will do it [paraphrased].

But what if I don't have . . .?

Well, the only things I could nail down that Baty stated as necessary to do and succeed at Nano were belief and a support buddy. Several from a thread I frequent on the forum went to a kick-off party where Baty spoke. They report that he stated that he has found over the years that the person who believes they will finish usually does, and often finishes early. Okay, no pressure here.

Am I ready?

It depends on the definition of ready but I have three prompts on note cards to stave off inertia and my computer is up and running well. Other than those things I am off on a journey to discover who these people are and what they are going to do over the next 30 days. I think it was Margaret Atwood who told Diane Rheem that her best work emerges when she gets a story idea beyond what she knows how to execute because the growth she experiences in stretching to meet the challenge transfers to her characters and the story itself.

So with that I am off to rest and recharge since I believe my least interrupted writing hours will be in the predawn. At that time of day there are no phone calls, or meals, or spontaneous conversations to break concentration. Whether I can get all of the day's quota in those hours will remain to be seen. Since I know I cannot write NaNo stuff during my column crunch on Sun/Mon I have recomputed my quotas over 25 days instead of 30.

Any readers who are participating, please leave a comment and we'll do a weekly update and encouragement post.

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1 comment:

AuthorMomWith Dogs said...

Yay for you! I'll be looking forward to hearing how it goes.