Sunday, October 25, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Yeah, I Said It

For those of you familiar with NaNoWriMo, it requires no further explanation. The mere appearance of the word is inspiring cold sweats and a churning knot of anticipation and fear in your StomachParts and a tingling sensation of hope. For those of you who think I just made that word up, here's what it is:

National Novel Writing Month. Every year in November, tens of thousands of people attempt to write an entire novel before the end of the month. A lot of them fail. Some of them don't. Mostly, I look on from the sidelines with arched eyebrows as I plug away at some other novel deadline and toy with the idea of jumping in. Last year I used it to write 20,000 words and a synopsis of a novel that wasn't currently under contract while I was writing a novel that was, right before I was ambushed with edits from another novel and had to call the whole thing off. Basically, I've never really attempted NaNo in the spirit of the thing.

Until now.

Oh, yeah, I said it. This year, I'm making it a goal, and Maggies Don't Break Goals. So what if my existing novel FOREVER is due March 1st? Or that I will be flying to two different conferences for eight days of the month? Or that I will have to also write two short stories for Merry Sisters of Fate during that time? Pshaw, minor set-backs. My two crit partners ( and and I had the following chat:

me: I have decided to NaNo, Brenna.
Just this morning.
Tessa gave me permission.
Brenna: of course you have.
I don't think you'd be happy if you weren't pursuing the impossible :)
Tessa: SHHHH it isn't impossible!
Brenna: no, that's not what I mean
I mean, she's trying to reach the threshold of impossible
Brenna: which means, she decimates every possible thing on her way there
How well they know me.

Anyway, I'll be doing NaNo with my Secret Novel that involves blood, beaches, and kissing (but not kraken). Under the rules of NaNo, the novel's supposed to be 50,000 words in order to be considered successful (almost half the length of SHIVER) so my goal is going to be a nice skeleton that I can go back to and flesh out after I finish FOREVER in a timely manner.

Unlike previous NaNo years, I now have 4 completed novels under my belt, and I sort of know myself and what I need to finish a novel a lot better than before. So while I'm not exactly cavalier, I'm . . . optimistic. I have my short story that I'm basing the novel off, I know my two main characters pretty well, I have a playlist in place, and I'm just about ready to write my two-page synopsis. I think that if I add "brainstormed about secondary characters" to that list, I'm actually about ready to start on November 1st.

So. I know that some of you guys are NaNoing. 'Fess up.


Larissa said...

*raises hand sheepishly*

I'm Larissa on the website if you wanna buddy me...

I'm still deciding whether to do the MG fairy novel or the YA suspense...I guess I better get on that.

Mariah said...

I'd doing it.

I have yet to pick what idea i am going to write about though.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Oh yay! I have my book all ready to go for this year, and am so excited to be up until 3 am writing every night... or maybe not. Exhausting!

I did it unofficially last year (ie, wrote my 50,000 word novella in November, but never put it on the NaNo site - don't know why. So lame)

Here I am this year: Come be my writing buddy, if you want!

MeganRebekah said...

I'm doing Nano, and excited about it. It's my first year, and I won't be starting a new novel but using the 50,000 words to finish my current WIP. It's exactly the type of motivation I need to kickstart things.

I'm MeganRebekah at the Nano site if you're looking for nano buddies :)

Good luck with your super secret novel!

Mim said...

I'm going to do it this year, but I've got to choose which of my four ideas I want to write and get everything in place this week. Plus I want to finish revisions on my current WIP. But I'm going to do it!

Sarah said...

That's a marvelously accurate description of NaNo :D

I attempted it last year and pooped out at 29,000 years. I'm doing it again this year and I plan to beat up that deadline and take its lunch money...figuratively speaking. :)

Sarah said...

Oops. I mean words. Not years.

Sheri Cook said...

I recently signed up for NaNoWriMo 2009. My first attempt. Wishing each and all of us success for whatever we hope to achieve through our 50K words finish lines!

Shelli Cornelison said...

I'm in for this year's NaNo. Had a mental outline for a midgrade I was going to use but now thinking I may go back and revisit an old YA skeleton instead. I still have 4 days to decide -- all the time in the world, right?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Whoo hoo! A lot of fellow NaNoers.

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