November is National “Write a Novel Month”. No, you haven’t traveled backward (or forward) in time using a time machine built out of a Delorian – It IS currently February and I AM talking about November.
The reason I am talking about November and National (Worldwide?) “Write a Novel” Month, is because I went “down the rabbit hole” this morning with internet searches in my groggy, sleepless state.
What I found (whilst searching for “format of scripts for graphic novels”, also known as the reason I was up at 2:25AM) was a concept/site called NaNoWriMo. The idea is simple: write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November (that’s 1,666 words a day if you write all of the 30 days). The site has garnered both praise and criticism (and although I signed up, it seems there hasn’t been much activity as of late, but when October/November rolls around I may likely see some action), and I wanted to know more as being in a crunch usually gets me motivated and moving forward. I am a fan of the idea.
I first found the site by landing on author Anthony Johnston’s, website who had this to say about NaNoWriMo:
You’ve no doubt heard of NaNoWriMo, the annual event where amateur writers pledge to complete a 50,000-word novel in one month. It has many supporters… and many critics.
I’m one of the supporters; and, while musing on a quotation of mine that refuses to die, I finally put my finger on why.
The quote is this:
File under ‘Hard Truths’: the creative muse is fiction. If you sit around waiting for the right moment to create, you will die waiting.
Intense, right? Insert your art/craft here – it applies to life in general. (Additionally, Anthony Johnston has some excellent resources for writers here).
All of this talk of criticism of NaNoWriMo got me searching with The Big G (Google) to see what all the hubbub was about. This led me to Chuck Wendig’s website, Terrible Minds, where he talks openly about NanoWriMo here and why some authors are critical of it. He also lays out some amazing tips for writing in general and if you don’t have time to read it (although I encourage you to read it. Twice), the bottom line is this:
You get out of it what you put into it and if you finish the 30 days with half a manuscript then that’s half a manuscript more than you started. There is WAY more information in the actual article, so, again, I encourage reading it.
If I go to bed now, I could sleep for one hour and ten minutes…worth it?