NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month is November every year. And every year, for about the last four years, I’ve promised myself that I was finally going to participate in it. As you can guess from the tone of that previous sentence, I have yet to participate in NaNoWriMo. I think last year I tried. About two weeks into November I began and I got about one page typed, single space on Word then never looked at it again. It was an utter fail, but then again, I don’t think I seriously prepared myself for a month of writing.
This year is going to be different. I’ve prepared. I have outlines and summaries and character sketches. Of course, there’s a lot that I didn’t prepare. Like, after maybe the first four scenes, I have nothing. But at least I know how my story should end and have a list of scenes to write, I just have to arrange those scenes in a coherent fashion and write them as I go along. I’m hopeful they’ll fit somewhere. I’ve also prepared myself mentally. I’ve mentally committed myself to writing at least five typed pages a day. Hopefully, but the end of the month I’ll then have a good 150 pages type. Singled space. Yes, I’m in for some tortured.
I don’t know if those 150 pages will equate to 50,000 words (which is what one needs to “win” NaNoWriMo), but at least I have a good chunk of material to work further with as I begin to edit. Of course, that’s not saying that I finished my novel. I could very well pass the “winner’s” mark without actually concluding my story. But at least I have the material to work with in order to finish.
Now, I’m not good with drafts. At least, when writing short stories in college, I hated the idea of a “first draft.” But that was only because when I hand something in, it’s my final draft; the first draft was the thing I scribbled in my notebook during class. The second draft was what I typed up and printed out for me to reread and mark up. The thing I hand in is the final draft, unless it’s workshopped (but then there really is no incentive for rewriting if you don’t need or want a final draft). But this is not college, this is life and as a teen, I was really good with have a huge first draft of a novel and printing all those pages out in order to edit on the go. What will definitely be a challenge is getting rid of parts that just don’t seems to work (because it’ll seem to work for me in the beginning and I’ll refuse to get rid of it even if deep down I know it needs to go).
But this is not about what to do after November. It’s about doing in November.
So here are just some of my goals for NaNoWriMo 2013:
- Turn off my inner editor and just write.
- Don’t reread things, just write!
- Even if I’m not inspired that day, I must write!
- Try not to spend hours on end adding to my backstory. Just write the STORY.
- Write at least 5 single-spaced pages per day. (or at least 2,000 words)
- Pass the 50,000 word mark before November 30th.
(Now I go painstakingly wait until friday.)
Wish me luck!