Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's that NaNo time of year!

Yes folks, it's that time of year when the wanna-be novelists put their fingies to the keyboards and click-clack away! And once again, I am acting as municipal liaison for Lake County Ohio...an emissary for the deviants who created National Novel Writing Month back in 1999. What started as your basic lunatic idea, attempting to write a 50,000-word novel in one month, has become an annual international phenomenon.

When I wrote my first novel, it was an exercise. I wanted to see if I could actually write a complete book. It took an entire year of voicing my thoughts into a hand-held recorder while driving or waiting for kids, then typing it up during my lunch breaks at work until it was all in one cohesive document. I was determined to prove to myself that I could do it. And I did.

Most people out there who just "know" they have a book in them don't have the drive to get it down on paper or computer. The task seems overwhelming.

They begin to create, and by the time they've massaged the same chapter a hundred times, they give up. The point of NaNoWriMo is to get it on paper. Just write with abandon: no editing, no rewriting. As NaNo's are fond of telling people "Editing is for the OTHER 11 months of the year." (You have to do something while you're waiting for the next year's event, right?)

I will be the first to admit, this is probably not the most "normal" way to write a book, but is there really an acceptable way to create? I know someone who was so desperate to get her book written that she would write on a notepad in the bathroom while sitting atop the throne. It was the only place in the house that she could get away from the kids and the husband and have a few minutes to herself. She wrote that entire book in her bathroom.

A novel written in a month can't be very good, you say? Amazing as it may seem, there have been several NaNo's who have cleaned up their NaNo manuscripts (taking advantage of the OTHER 11 months of the year) and managed to get book deals and publication.

So if writing that elusive novel has always been your dream, but you lack the motivation to attack the daunting task, join your fellow lunatic writers at http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and get that book written this month!