September 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo Is Coming

September is more than half over, which means November is practically here. And November means National Novel Writing Month. And NaNoWriMo means I'll be writing another novel.

As usual, I'm in the middle of working on some other novel, and I won't be finished with that project before November 1. Every summer I'm sure that I'll be done with whatever draft well before that date, and then by September I'm cautiously optimistic that I can use that deadline to goad myself to completion, and then in October I realize I'm deluded and there's no way I'll make it. This year is different in that I've already made peace with continuing to revise THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE past November. Maybe I'll work on it at the same time as my NaNo novel! (This is another recurring delusion.)

I wrote the first draft of THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE during NaNoWriMo 2007. It was my sixth time participating, and it was the year I did the most preparation and wrote the most words (over 80,000). That was a great year.

In the two years since then, I haven't been particularly happy with my NaNo novels. I felt some burnout and also had to cope with my own higher standards for my work. Both years I tried starting a novel with little or no plan to see what that was like, and I've concluded that method doesn't work for me. I think the biggest factor in my discontent was that I lacked passion and obsession for the stories I was writing.

By now, I know that I can write enough on a daily basis to reach 50,000 words in 30 days, no problem. The social aspect of NaNo is great fun and at least half the reason I keep coming back, but I'd also like to care again about what I'm writing.

I have this one idea that I couldn't get out of my head back in the spring. It's only a quarter-baked at best, and though it churned in my mind every night for weeks as I lay in bed, I never did work out how to shape it into a story. It will either be a perfect NaNo project because I can spend a month trying to figure out if it works, or it will be another dud that I lose interest in. The obsession factor is potentially there, but I haven't given the idea much thought in a while. I guess I still have some time to see if I can get passionate again before November arrives.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Flavorwire has author photo poses to avoid. (Thanks, MobyLives!)

1 comment:

Anna said...

Amazing that September has flown, October right around the corner, and then... Such a magical month is November! Will be thinking happy novel-obsessive thoughts your way. :)))

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