What! You haven't heard about Nanowrimo yet?? The acronym stands for "National Novel Writing Month", which basically means a bunch of crazy folk from around world try to write a 50,000 word novel, all within the month of November. That's right, 50k in 30days.
I was living in England when I vaguely heard about it from a few friends. Yeah, I thought they were crazy. They seemed to have fun though, and when the next November came, I figured, hey, why not? I was one of those people who used to think that one of these days I would write a novel. I've had an idea in my head for a good one since I was a kid (ok, so I haven't written that one yet, I'm thinking of saving it for Nanowrimo 2009?). It was a not so great time in my life, I needed something to cheer me up. So I signed up in 2006.
Now, writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days requires a fair bit of sacrifice. Not like I had a time consuming full-time job or anything that year (or a full college course load and two part-time jobs the next year!). Never underestimate the power of spending the weekend in your pajamas with a laptop on your lap! I did finish in 2006, that was the year I wrote a terrible, theraputic novel with too much dialogue and not enough description. I finished in 2007 too, and that year I wrote another terrible novel with too many characters and not enough description. The point however, is quantity, not quality!!
In 2007 I also participated in the online community surrounding this event. I visited the forum, went to the local kick off party, met a few people. It was fun. Next year I plan on having my own laptop, and maybe make it to a few write ins. Participating in local events only adds to the excitement.
And the challenge! I'm always up for a good challenge! There's nothing like a deadline and a bit of pressure to get those creative juices flowing! And the euphoria of finishing, the sense of accomplishment! Amazing! It is tough though. The people online are really supportive, and there's loads of tips around for getting you through the month. One of the organizers has written a great book to help get you started. I highly recommend it! What do you do with your finished (hopefully) novel? A few people have actually got them published for real. Some of us less fortunate authors just submit them to a vanity press, like lulu. There's nothing like a new, shiny book that is all your own, sitting on the shelf. Fantastic! So next November, you know what to do, just visit the Nanowrimo home page and sign up!