Saturday, October 28, 2006

NaNoWriMo - Writing a Novel in a Month

Today was disappointing so I decided my channel the knee jerk reaction to go off the deep end into something completely different.

Miss Turtle has been known to react to such disappointments by crying for hours on end, sending futile text, email, phone messages in desperation, etc. No more!

I considered my options: 1) sing really loudly to "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" by The Animals and "Spill the Wine" by War and Eric Burdon, 2) shake my booty to "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa, 3) drink lots of water, 4) have my palm read, have a tarot reading, or a crystal ball consultation, 5) cry some more, 6) stuff myself with a dozen fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts, 7) whine at one of my friends (as if they haven't heard enough) or 8) write a novel in a month.

Having completed nos. 1, 2 and 5, and being in the middle of no. 3, I decided to pass on the doughnuts (for now) and the palm reading, etc. for money/health reasons. This left no. 8.

I wrote a novel a few years ago. It's about a 200 page skeletal document in very rough draft. I never went back to edit it or get it ready for publication. Mostly, I wrote it to see if I could make myself focus enough to start such a project and finish it. It took about three months. Although not worthy of publication, it is a real novel with characters, character development, story arch, good guys, bad guys, plot twists, a subplot I really like, a climax and a proper ending.

I've had another novel rolling around in my head for about five years. I've made notes about it here and there, tried my hand at drafting a page or two, but never took myself seriously enough to write down a first draft. Lately, I've been thinking about this story I love so much. I have a very good idea about how it begins/ends and possible major points in the middle, but I'm curious to see if I can pull it off and what surprises will come out of the writing.

So I signed up for the NaNoWriMo (click on the icon to the left there). The basics: you sign up, write your novel of 50,000 words or 175 pages during the month of November, have your word count verified, attend some parties along the way and win your badge/certificate. "Winning" comes from the satisfaction of knowing you finished your 50,000 words. There are no best novel contests, no guarantee of publication, just the personal satisfaction of reaching your goal. I'm all over that.

I have serious doubts I will complete this goal, especially since I only have a couple more days to prepare and get my head wrapped around the idea, but I thought doing something constructively nutty was a better way to channel my disappointment. I could go back to sending desperate text, voice and email messages, but that's the old way of doing things. Miss Turtle is gearing up for the new! Even if I don't complete my goal, I'm sure to find out something new about myself in the process and that's usually a good thing (usually).

Wish me luck. And keep drinking water and shaking your booty to Salt-N-Pepa.

1 comment:

anne said...

I am impressed with your motivation for the project - I do wish you well, and I will take your advice to drink more water!