Yes, that’s right. I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who didn’t click on the link, it stands for the National Novel Writing Month. Each year in November, writers both professional and aspiring sign up and set themselves a goal – to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
If that seems like a lot to you, it’s because it is. That works out to 1,667 words each day. Since one page with 12 point, double-spaced font is about 300 words, that comes out to 5 or 6 pages per day – quite a bit of writing, to be sure. I’m a little intimidated, and – despite my complete lack of attention to this blog site – I’m a pretty prolific writer when I sit down to it. For instance, I cranked out well over 5000 words last Saturday as a warm-up to the coming month. It took me about 5 hours, so there’s my pace – 1000 words/hour.
The question, of course, is whether or not I’ll be able to sustain that for an entire month. I think I can, and here’s why:
I’ve got it all planned out.
That’s right. The whole book. My friend Andrea Ellickson, writer, fellow Mugster, sometime blogger and a volunteer for the NaNoWriMo organization, challenged me to participate, and when I accepted she sent me a book about preparing for it. Turns out I’d done quite a bit of it, but there were a few new tricks I learned, as well.
So I’m going into tomorrow with character studies on all five main characters, a scene-by-scene outline of everything that happens in the story, a couple of places where the story can be stretched out like an accordion if it needs to be, and – perhaps best of all – six days of vacation immediately prior to Thanksgiving that should allow me the time to knock out a few thousand words extra each day.
In the sidebar you’ll see a little graph that charts my progress as I register my words on the NaNoWriMo website. Less than 20% of the people that sign up for NaNoWriMo successfully complete the 50,000 word challenge – I encourage you to wish me luck, check in with me throughout the month, help keep me on track. Let’s do this!