Tuesday, 5 November 2013

National Novel Writing Month

November is 'National Novel Writing Month'. The idea is that you write the first 50,000 words of your novel this month. Of course it's a draft - probably a bad draft. And most novels are longer that this, but it's an event bringing together 275,419 novelists this year, working on their own projects in synch, with a sense of community.

Now some people dislike National Novel Writing Month, saying it's an excuse for people to write shoddy novels in a rush and self publish at the end of the month, giving self-publishing a bad name. While I guess there's an element of that, for me it's something quite different.

I'll admit that when I first heard of National Novel Writing Month, I thought it sounded like stupid idea. I mean, why wait for November? And why try to do it in a month? You can do a better job, probably, by taking your time, and writing it carefully.

However, I've since decided that perhaps National Novel Writing Month could be a useful event for me after all. I've been intending to tackle my half-cut unfinished novel for the past year. It was hand-written 20 years ago and ran out of steam. Parts of it have potential and there are some good ideas but it is badly in need of a rewrite. On 2 November I decided to begin that rewrite. National Novel Writing Month has given me a kick up the butt to get on with it.

So to those people who say National Novel Writing Month is all about rushing to complete a shoddy piece of work. Here's my answer...

For me, it’s not about rushing. I need to prioritise this book or it will never be written. I have a day job writing magazine articles that have been taking priority. They will continue to take priority in November, but setting myself a target to do as much as I can on evenings and weekends, will give me a kick up the butt to prioritise it during my leisure time (which otherwise tends to get swallowed up with paying work too). That’s why I have joined the novelists on National Novel Writing Month. Frankly, it’s also nice to have a sense of community egging you on!

Perhaps I’ll only complete 30,000 words, I don’t care – I just needed to get this prioritised. A month of intense commitment to getting on with it, is helping me move it to the next stage – to the first decent draft. Or perhaps just half a draft. By the end of National Novel Writing Month my novel will be in a better place than it was at the start. That's what's important.

For more about National Novel Writing Month www.nanowrimo.org

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with my work.
https://twitter.com/susiekearley
http://www.facebook.com/susie.kearley.writer

2 comments:

  1. This is what (and why) I'm doing it as well. I write short stories but "Don't have time" to write a novel. Forcing myself to try and get 2,000 words down most nights (I'm already behind) means that I'll just barge through the story without worrying too much, then I can go back and edit and make it (hopefully) readable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! I'm behind too. :-) But only just. Will make up for it this weekend. Good luck with your novel. :-)

      Delete