Thursday, September 24, 2009

Get Ready! Get Set! NANO!

Or NANOWRIMO if you prefer the long version. I's almost that time of year again - National Novel Writing Month begins on November 1st.

Do you have a novel in you, just waiting to get written? The majority of people do - so why don't they all write a book? Thinking about writing often amounts to just a plot idea, figuring out the perfect title, and picturing the royalty checks rolling in ever after. And it is all those other hidden steps in between that keep most people from achieving their dream. People who actually write novels do what serious writers do: consider the all the parts to a novel that come after 'title' and 'plot bunny'. They write thousands of words, revise those words, edit those words -- and then start all over again. Because writing, like nearly everything else in life, takes practice to do well. And that is the stopper. How many people that want to write a novel are willing to practice?

That is where NaNoWriMo comes in. Here is chance to practice, and to finish with at least 50,000 words, all with the greatest bunch of cheerleaders and motivators I've ever seen collected in one place. It is easy to get discouraged, reading your own writing and seeing the difference between what you pictured doing and what you actually wrote. Fortunately, writing is a skill that improves with practice and with feedback and direction from people who are further along the road.

Internet sites such as Forward Motion provide online classes (free) and a community of writers who encourage each other and share information on everything from the best latest book on writing to lists of publishers and agents - who to go to and who to stay away from.

Only 37 days left to do plot outlines, character sketches, world building - or whatever you want that isn't actually writing your novel. Or you can do what I did my first NaNo, and just write like crazy and hope it will all come together by "The End". That worked out well until I was about two thirds of the way through, and then my historical novel took a science fiction turn that I hadn't really intended. This year, I want to have a plot outline, one made up of more than three sentences!

Goldibear is moving furniture so that I have a quiet, private nook for writing, and I just updated my personal page for NaNo'09. If you decide to do NaNo this year, please stop and say 'hi' to me there.

5 comments:

Jaye Patrick said...

Heh, you're already my bud on the site, so I'll be there to gee (read: nag) you along when it's needed.

Pandababy said...

Wonderful -
I need some good nags ;-)

This year I gave up PandaBaby and signed in as FlowerChild (my name at Nano my first year there, before my PandaBaby blog. I don't know why, but when I tried to sign in as PandaBaby the system didn't recognize me. I gave up early on that year anyway.)

So, oddly enough, every where on the Internet I'm PandaBaby, at FM and LT and all over, but I'm back to being FlowerChild at Nano. Sorry for the confusion, but could you delete the buddy link for PandaBaby and replace it with FlowerChild?

Now if Marina and Silver Gull will just do Nano too, it will be a most perfect year. (I think Marina has decided to, but Silver Gull is still thinking it over.)

Marina said...

I just added you as a buddy (I'm emeraldfin on Nano).

Looking foward to getting started! Sounds like your writing space is well set-up now. Do you have any ideas yet about what you'll be writing? I have a general concept, but I need to finish Dragonheart before I can get stuck into working out the details.

Pandababy said...

(jumping up and down) We're buddies! Thanks Marina.

I think for my Nano09 the setting will be fantasy and the story will revolve around a village or a land where people are deaf. It's a concept I started working with just recently, and I'm excited about developing it.

Are you going to submit Dragonheart to an agent or publisher after you finish it? (which is to say - when do I get a chance to read it?)

Marina said...

Interesting concept! I like ideas that you don't see all the time.

I probably will submit, but (a) realistically, my chances of being published are exceedingly slim, and (b) such time is still a looooonng way away! First I have to finish the first draft, then dump it to write another Nano, then maybe go back to revisions on my first neglected manuscript, then finally get on to revisions for Dragonheart, which I can already see will be huge ...

In short, don't hold your breath!