A Novel in a Month?

Writing By Dec 01, 2009 1 Comment

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sorry, NaNoWhat? Oh, that. Curses, you remember. Yes,okay, confession time. I did mention that I was considering signing up for NaNoWriMo – that stands for saying goodbye to your life for a month in order to write a novel, or, at least, 50,000 words of one. When I said that I was thinking about it, we were still on the 4th or 5th of November, so not too much of the month had passed and I felt that it was do-able. You’ll be pleased to know that I successfully managed to procrastinate well into the next week and, by that time, it no longer resembled an achievable goal.

Would I like to achieve 50,000 words in a month? Yes, which writer wouldn’t? But I would need to have mapped out enough of the story and characters in order to make that feasible. You might work differently but I need time to mull and ponder before committing anything to the computer or notepad. It’s important for me to have that space and let things ferment. I run ideas around and herd up the possibles before heading for the pen. It’s just how I work. When I started writing classes in 2003, it was something that drove my other half mad. Each week I would have “homework” for class and, each week without fail, I would be up into the small hours of Friday morning (the day of the class) writing whatever it was, be it short story, poem, article or report. I tried to get it done earlier so that I wouldn’t have to go to class the following day on minimal sleep but it rarely worked, or I seldom wrote anything that I was happy with. If my ‘thinking time’ was curtailed in any way, my writing was the poorer for it. I believe that’s still the case and make sure that I make full use of whatever time I have in order to get a piece of writing done. Writing against the clock, down to the wire, whatever you want to call it, works for me.

NaNoWriMo sounds like it should be tailor-made for someone like me. Maybe it is, but I’m not so convinced. I have a picture of a month of fairly intense and constant writing. Where, then, is the thinking time and how the heck would I manage without it?


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