Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Novel Triumph

For the second year in a row, I took part in National Novel Writing Month - better known by its acronym NaNoWriMo.

With the philosophy that inside everyone is at least one novel, the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November. That is an average of around 1667 words per day. Results are entirely self-reported. There is no outside verification. What one writes does not have to make sense, or even be any good. A suggestion often repeated is if you get stuck, add ninjas.

The daily word count may not seem like a lot, but when you are sitting there trying to think something up, it can be daunting. I am someone with a lot of flexibility in my schedule - I have no idea how someone with a typical job can do this.

I wasn't even going to do it this year. Last year, I have personal reasons for taking part. I had a few things I needed to work out of my system, and I chose to do it through writing. This year, I was blank. Blank, until I woke up in the wee hours of November 1 with an idea. An idea that was too good to let go of. So far, this has been the biggest advantage of morning insomnia.

In general, I have mixed feelings about NaNoWriMo. The sheer speed with which the novel has to be produced probably results in a lot of unreadable manuscripts forever to be hidden on a hard drive. Does encouraging people to write page after page of crap accomplish anything? I think so, ultimately. Writing for the sake of writing is wonderful, and if it gets people thinking creatively, then it's all good.

How much did I write? The final word count came in at 50,456 completed on November 28. The most I wrote in one day was around 4000 words. The least I wrote was around 300. On average, I wrote around 2000 words, which was my goal.

As someone who writes and edits for a living, I wanted to write something that actually flowed and made sense. While it is going to require some extensive editing, I feel I have accomplished that. I know you're probably wondering what I wrote. It's an erotic novel that goes places 50 Shades of Grey doesn't, in several regards (I am talking about both the storyline itself and, ahem, "activities"). In addition to many scenes of a sexual nature, there is actually a strong storyline that delves into issues of life, love, and identity. If you are a literary agent who would like to have a look, please contact me.

I hope everyone taking part in NaNoWriMo this year had a meaningful experience!

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