Every November I participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Around our house it is also referred to as “National Pot Pie Month,” an homage to my culinary efforts during November.
For the last four years I have been the Municipal Liaison for the Olympia, Washington Region. This year indie author Lee French agreed to be a co-ML with me, which really takes the pressure off in regard to small ML duties. We have 165 active novelists and are gaining new wrimos all the time.
At 12:01 am on Sunday November 1st, I met with 9 authors at Shari’s Restaurant (open 24 hours) and we worked for three hours, getting our first day’s word count written and uploaded to the national site. Then we went home and wrote some more.
2015 nano calendars via tumblr.com
It is true that the primary goal of participating in NaNoWriMo is to produce a 50,000 word novel in the space of 30 days. That sounds crazy but it can be done–I do it every year. The first draft of Huw the Bard was written from start to finish during November of 2011 as my nano-novel that year. Mountains of the Moon was written in 2012, and published 2015.
HOWEVER: I spent the month of October 2011 outlining the novel. After the first draft was completed, I spent the next three years getting HTB ready for publication, rewriting it through 3 more drafts, having it edited professionally, and finally it was published in March of 2014.
Many people use the concept of NaNoWriMo to jump-start their noveling career, but there are just as many who spend the month of November writing family histories or memoirs, writing daily blog posts, writing essays, or even working on their dissertations. I know two people who write screenplays during November.
The month of November is when we celebrate the act of creative writing, and encourage every person with an inner author to let that creative energy flow.
This year, I am working on a series of mixed genre short-short stories that will be written in the month of November 2015 during National Novel Writing Month.
My intention is to write one tale a day, or two or three longer tales a week, many of them set in a Medieval village, but some set in the fantastic future. Robots, Spaceships, Dragons, Fairies, even Mad Scientists and Crazed Wizards–all will be fair game.
For me, writing the first draft of a novel is only the beginning. Once that is out of the way, the real work begins–making it fit for others to read, getting it through the editing process with a professional editor, these are tough but necessary steps. I don’t rush the revisions. I have nothing to lose by taking the time to do it right. Right now, I have three books on the back burner in various stages of dismemberment, and in December I will return to getting them through that process.
This year there will be no novel in the traditional sense, but hopefully a LOT of short stories will emerge from my fevered mind, things I can use for contests and submissions to magazines and anthologies.