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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Where did the year go? It's almost November already and I'm not sure I'm ready.  Last year - almost on a whim - I decided to try writing a novel with the NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month.  The goal is to write a 175 page (50,000 words) novel by midnight November 30th.

My novel (admittedly, not a great one...not even a good one) was just slightly more than the 50,000 word goal and I felt good about it.  Even if it was terrible. It had some serious plot holes.  And the dialogue was bad. I could probably have fixed the later but not the former - not without having to restructure most of the novel.

But I appreciated my novel - flawed as it was - because I did it.  I wrote it, every line.  I proved to myself I could do it.  And now, having done it, I can do it again, and do it better. 

I hope.
Last year, it was almost a whim.  I decided October 31st that I wanted to participate.  I had only a vague idea for a story and only a couple of characters.  But this year I've been brewing an idea for several months.  In the back of my mind a story was developing - almost without my knowing it.   I sat down a couple of days ago to make a couple of notes for myself. I began with a simple one sentence description of the story.  Then I enlarged that to a paragraph.  When I stopped - because my hand was cramping around the pen - I realized that I had plotted out the entire story and developed a timeline and background information for some of the characters.  I realized I have a story - with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

So here's the plan.

•Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.

•Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people's works).

•Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you're writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!

•Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.

•Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.

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Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
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