You’ve got a book in ya!
That’s the idea behind the website for the National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. Every year, in November, people embark on a journey to outline and write a complete draft of a 50,000 word novel in 30 days!
It is an exercise in pure, literary abandon.
And it is an absolutely intriguing idea. I think this might even be the year that I buckle down and give it a shot. I am more of an essayist (and poet) than a novelist, but shouldn’t every writer set out at least once to write the “Great American Novel?” And while I am not planning to come to the level of The Great Gatsby (in my view, the quintessential, Great American Novel), it will be interesting to see if I have it in me to handle plot, characterization, and setting. There is a reason I gravitated toward poetry and not short stories. I do strong images. Nothing very much happens during that strong, captured, moment-in-time, image.
Every book I have ever considered working on (and one that was partially written and lost during a horrible computer crash with no back up) was some sort of either non-fiction (big ol’ research paper, if you will) or personal essay piece. Never once have I (the lover of all things prose) ever undertaken to write fiction.
But, why not? The worst thing that can happen? I enjoy writing as a hobby and have a completed (albeit of questionable quality) novel. I can say I did it. Maybe, just maybe, it will be editable into something worth sharing. Maybe not. It hasn’t cost me a dime and I will have gotten to rise to a new challenge in my writing skills.
I first learned of NaNoWriMo from Patrice Lewis’ blog, Rural Revolution. She and at least one of her daughters have done it before and found the challenge to be a good one. I wonder if I could get younger son to do it with me this year. He might be more apt if it were writing a screenplay rather than a novel.
I think this is a wonderful idea for homeschool students, creative teens and all those who have a story to tell in their hearts. If you love to read, then you likely have absorbed enough good writing skills over the years to make this a reality for you. Write a book that you would like to read.
Check out the website for NaNoWriMo. They have loads of good stuff there including some good books to get you prepared for your journey. I bet you could find some of them in your local library to save a little money, too.
So whaddaya say? Wanna write a novel this November?
Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo?
Till next time,