As rough happenstance would have it, I've been working out how I'd like to write a novel at roughly around the same time as NaNoWriMo has been approaching, and... now, here we are, just a little over a day from the start of November, and I'm kind of ready to start the actual writing.
So, uhmm, I didn't plan for this but I might just be doing NaNoWriMo this year anyway.
What is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month... except it's not national, it's international, you don't have to be writing a novel to participate, and it kind of happens several months out of the year. But anyway, November is THE big one, the original one, the month chosen a long time ago when this event began and it hadn't taken off internationally like it has now.
The basic rules are these:
- Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30
- Only count words written during November. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works)
- Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
- Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up
- Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times
That's basically it; it's an informal sort of affair. You can announce your participation via the NaNoWriMo website at https://nanowrimo.org/, and at the end of the event you can feed the site your writing and have it verify the word count which will... I dunno, add a badge to your profile or something. Like I said, informal. But I think I'll try and knock it out myself this year to... 1. see if I can, and 2. get the creative juices flowing.
See, I've noticed since I did start planning a novel... as I've been world-building and reading more for research, I've been finding characters, place ideas and interesting concepts I would love to see in the pages of my book. A month ago, I felt like I couldn't be creative and had felt that way for years. I never just sat down and got started, because I thought I had no idea where to start. Lesson learned: Start exploring ideas, no matter how vague or crummy they may appear - you only find the gems by digging into them.
So I've created a project called NaNoWriMo 2020, although the novel now has a working title: Realms of Oros. And I've included it on this website already, so when I do start writing it will start populating here.
My exploration of that idea has been going so well, too, a lot of story threads and... intriguing concepts I want to explore. Okay, here's the thing... I might have a novel length story in there too, but I don't think I'll spend all of my time writing just that. I'm likely to get stuck or frozen and... what I do have to help is a broad set of thematically related short stories too, and other ideas... so Realms of Oros might be a sort of anthology... or a starting point for some other works, who knows.
But it's going well. I am ready, and in two days I will begin writing. Wish me luck.