For those of you who may not know, National Novel Writing Month — aka NaNoWriMo — happens every November. It’s when writers decide to punish — I mean challenge themselves by writing a 50,000 first draft of a book in a month. It works out to be aprox 1,666 words a day, which doesn’t sound too bad, right? And it’s not. Until you factor in things like regular life, things that pop up, writer’s block, writer’s fatigue, plot that goes nowhere, characters that become assholes and drafts that just won’t let themselves be written.
I’ve tried it about four times. The first time was 2006 and I was successful. The second time, 2007, I got about half way through. My third try was 2011 and I got most of the first draft done. Last year was my fourth attempt and I got as far as planning out the book. So my success has been varying. But the cool thing about NaNoWriMo is that you can participate how you want and you can judge your success how you want. Last year, when I plotted out a book, it was the first time I had tried to work on something new in over four years. So, yeah, I was pretty happy with that.
This year I’ve decided to give it another go. I haven’t written a whole lot in the past few years, and for a while I actually made a conscious decision to not write. I gave it up. But I recently realized that I really, really miss writing. So here I am.
A few weeks ago I plotted out a non-fiction book on the various animals that we have looked after over the years. (Plotting before November 1st is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.) Yesterday, during a Q&A with Kelley Armstrong, which I will tell you all about tomorrow, I realized I didn’t want to write non-fiction right now. I wanted to write fiction, but had no freaking idea what to write.
Then this morning I remembered last year’s plotted out book, which is the first book in a cozy mystery series. So I dug out my notes and it feels like an awesome fit for this month. This morning I’ll be going through those notes, rewriting them out and then getting my 1,666 words in.
How about you guys? Anyone else NaNoing this year?