When November Comes

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NaNoWriMo logo Image courtesy NaNoWriMo.org

NaNoWriMo logo Image courtesy NaNoWriMo.org

Last week I got an email reminding me that NaNoWriMo, the crazy project to write a novel in one month, is fast approaching. To NaNo or not to NaNo, that is the question.

Editing Julia, blogging and procrastinating take up a large chunk of my after-work time. Throw in eating, sleeping and talking to my husband and it’s pretty much a full day.

So, how would I squeeze in writing a 50,000 word novel? Would this November project take the place of procrastinating? Or, more likely, editing?

I know I should say “no, I’m passing this year,” but I like the idea of letting the creative juices out to play. I’ve bemoaned having ideas and not getting to explore them because I want to focus on Julia. Maybe a month reprieve would be a good thing. And if there’s a set deadline, I know I’d be back with her soon enough. I’m contemplating this because NaNoWriMo gave birth to Julia. NaNo is the reason the horrendous first draft even exists. Without a crazy November many years ago, an idea jotted on a piece of paper would have been tossed in a drawer and forgotten about.

While I weigh the pros and cons, I urge anyone out there who’s got an idea itching their brain to try NaNoWriMo. The premise sounds a little crazy, but it works.

During the month of November, participants write a 50,000 words novel. The idea is quantity, not quality. It forces you to write, to just get it down, regardless of how it sounds. Finishing the idea is more important the beauty of the prose.

It feels good to finish a novel-length piece. And while most of what I wrote was horrible, there are passages that are surprisingly good…it’s nice to know that in the rush of just getting something done, I still manage to come up with some good phrases. And pushing through just to push through took my plot in directions I hadn’t intended but that work out perfectly…like it was supposed to meander down that path.

I also learned that, while adding to word count, not using contractions sounds very, very unnatural upon rereading.

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One thought on “When November Comes

  1. Jackie

    i agree on all counts. Nano seems like a terrifying undertaking, and, well, it is… but it’s so worth it! It forces you to ignore that pesky inner editor and just actually write. You should definitely do it — Julia can wait until December, and who knows what new characters and plots might emerge in November when you start Nano anew?

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