Sunday, 1 November 2009

Write a novel in a month

Last week I found out that November is National Novel Writing Month.  Instead of recapping (I've got 2 dozen Red Hot Velvet cupcakes to bake - more on that tomorrow!), I'll just leave you with the 'about' blurb from their website,

'National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.
In 2008, we had over 119,000 participants. More than 21,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.'

I'm not actually working on a novel (I'm a narrative non-fiction girl myself), but I could still use the motivation to write everyday to a target. And people who know me well know that I love setting strict targets for myself.

Some inspiration to get you going...
Annie Dillard and the Writing Life
Daily routines of how writers and artists organise their days
Richmond Literature Festival (if you're London based - I'm going this Friday)
Guardian Writers' Room series (pic of the places artists do their thing)

I was also inspired by a post on the lovely Tea for Joy blog about novelists' rooms, based on another series the guardian did styling rooms inspired by novelists. I especially appreciate Ernest Hemingway's room since I just finished his 'A Moveable Feast' and am freaking out at the moment about 1920's literary Paris sidewalk cafe culture, as one does.

Here's Mr.Hemingway's study...

And Virginia Wolfe's boudoir...

So, I'm in. Anyone else with me?


Jenny said...

what if i just wrote on my blog everyday in november? i think I could commit to that...especially since I just posted ;)

this sounds really awesome though!

amyrenee said...

I promise to root for you from the sidelines...

Nadine said...

A lot of my friends are doing Nanowrimo, but I just don't think I could commit to doing all those words in one month.

But I will definitely cheer you on!

alisha said...

Thanks for all the cheering me on! Jenny, I definitely think blogging everyday counts.

I'm probably not going to follow it to a tee, but it's just good to get me going. We keep you updated...

Prince said...

I'm with you Alisha! I had just been gearing up to get back on track with journaling and now you've inspired me to journal a novel :)

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