Other writers who read my updates may know about that little annual event known as NaNoWriMo. Those of you who don’t, I’ll point you in the direction of the official web site at NaNoWriMo.org, but the basic idea is that writers across the world take part in this event, which is an attempt to write an entire novel (assessed at a word count of 50,000, minimum) in a month (that’s for each participant to write a novel, as opposed to the entire world to come together and produce a single novel between them (although what an awesomely mind-blowing idea that would be!)).
That’s right, one month. Just one. And it’s not even one of the long months. 30 days to write the next masterpiece. The rules of the “competition” (I’m using quotes because I don’t intend to actually enter NaNo, for two reasons; one, because I am attempting to finish a half-finished novel, which is greatly advised against, and two, scanning over my first drafts do usually tend to suggest that they should never see the light of day) state only that you have to write at least 50,000 words from scratch in the one month you’re given to do it.
Now, I’ve known about NaNo for a good four or more years, after an online friend of mine mentioned she was writing a book for it. Did I do anything about it, either at the time or the years following my discovery? No. No, of course I didn’t.
So I was looking back over some old posts on my own blog, when I realised that I’ve actually had this idea in my mental pipeline since–get this–2006! Possibly even longer, if I was writing before I brought it up in my blog. So anyway, that’s three years ago. Not days, weeks or months here. Whole freaking years. I did have a sudden wave of inspiration some time last year (I didn’t document myself that well, which is a pain, in hindsight), where I did manage to spew out some literary vomit of a second (or was it third by this point? Who cares?) draft, after which I changed my mind entirely on the story and hacked away a good half of the manuscript. And once I’d done back, I sat back all smug and pleased with myself, unless the realisation sank in, and I thought to myself: OK, so what now?
Aaaaaaaand then I spent about six months basically dicking around doing sod all to do with writing or anything even remotely close, convincing myself that I would get to it later, and never actually getting around to doing it (I blame World of Warcraft, but more than that, I blame myself…but also World of Warcraft.). And, well, I have to get myself out of this hole I’ve somehow ended up in. There doesn’t seem to be a better opportunity (with the exception of new year, new beginnings, etc) to pull my finger out and get to it, than the idea that literally hundreds of thousands of people will be going through the same thing.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned, I won’t actually be entering NaNo. Why? Because of this rule. It says you have to start from scratch, which I don’t want to do. Besides, I quite like what I have written in the first half of the story. It’s just that pernickety little other half that’s not quite so good. You know, the bit I haven’t written yet?
So that’s my plan. 50,000 words (or thereabouts, it’s only a second half) in 30 days, averaging 1,666 (Hail, Satan!) words a day. If I’m going to get technical, I’m going to give it as working days (weekend’s my time off), so that’s 20 days for 50k. 2,500 words every day. Them’s a lot of words.
But before that, I have to get a good plan in place. And I mean a good plan. Not the plan I have at the minute, which is brilliant again for the bits I’ve already done, and for the second half, we have:
– Some guys fighting
– Some slayers attacking
– Some people dying
– Some other people dying
– Some other stuff
And seriously, that’s the best I have right now. But God help me, I’m working on it.
I’m even going to be investing in a new Mac Mini for the job (which I’m getting for the Scrivener software, not for the fact that it’s a Mac, since my attitude towards Macs has been soured since my piece of shit MacBook fell over on me last year and lost some very important work I had done on Divided They Fall).
I have 10 days to come up with a viable plan, which not only has to make sense and be liked by yours truly, but also has to be written well enough so I can plot and plan my time and word counts to work into the days that I will be working on it.
November is soon going to be my least favourite month.
I’m so screwed. And not in a good way.