We’re fast approaching November, which is important for a number of reasons; It’s almost December, which means Christmas and New Year’s Eve are coming up, bonfire night is always good fun and it’s National Novel Writing Month.
Admittedly, if you’re not a writer the last one probably isn’t that important to you, but for those of us enamoured with words it’s a pretty huge deal.
A quick jaunt to NaNoWriMo.org lets you know what’s going on: you are encouraged, by what is essentially a charity, to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Any genre, any plot, almost anything you want (although I think erotic fiction is out, I’m not sure) in thirty days and nights.
This is a tall order, as anyone will tell you; some people, usually the less writerly-types, will baulk completely when they spot ’50,000 words’, but it’s a fantastic creative exercise in that you essentially have the freedom to do whatever you want and a very tight deadline in which to do it. You must cast off all frivolous thought in order to produce better frivolous thought. Interesting.
I haven’t done one yet. I signed up (for free) just after last year’s ended, so I’m looking forward to this year’s immensely.
Here are my worries, though:
Do I start planning the story in my head now, a month before writing begins, or do I wait until November 1st and fully commit to dreaming up, planning and writing a novel in exactly one month?
How can I split my time effectively to make sure I maximise the amount of words I write per day? Should I splurge 10,000 in one coffee-fuelled all-night binge? Or should I do a more manageable couple of thousand every other day or so?
It’s a lot to think about.
I urge you to take a look at it anyway, even if you don’t consider yourself to be writer. You never know what may come flying out of your head when you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and everyone has a story to tell, whether they think they do or not. Don’t be put off by the projected word-count; it’s not set in stone after all and as most writers will tell you, if you hit on something you really like, a scene, a character or a whole story, you’ll eventually glance at the clock and notice it’s four in the morning and that you’ve written sixteen pages. You’ll also be dimly aware that you’re starving and that you have to be up for work in four hours.
It’s a labour of love.
I look forward to reading yours.
By James Bovington
Now I must ask something of you:
I have awful trouble naming characters. I try to avoid using the names of people I know, on the off-chance they think I based the whole character on them (which is only sometimes true), so I’d very much appreciate it if the lovely readers of Creatabot (or the lovely contributors, anyone really) could leave me some suggestions down in the comments below. I’ll probably even credit you as ‘The Namer’ or ‘The Name Giver’ or some such needlessly grandiose title.
Thanks very much.