Happy National Write a Novel Month
Today marks the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I'm excited to have the kick-in-the-pants that I need to get started writing a novel again. Every year for the last two, I've finished a novel by the end of the year. This year, I stalled on Book #3. I got stuck (which happens sometimes), put it away, and then when I returned to it, I found I'd lost the characters.
I've talked before, a little bit, about the voices in my head. It sounds a bit mad, but it's not like they tell me to do things. They're not those kinds of voices. They're just characters that my imagination makes up and, when I'm lucky, they tell me their stories. I rarely know a character's whole story when I sit down to write – that all comes out in the writing.
I'm not surprised that my characters from Book #3 abandoned me. I'd gotten lazy about my personal writing. It's easy to get bogged down in work, especially when you write dry, technical documents for a living. The last thing I'd want to do when I came home was look at a computer screen. But really, I'm only hurting myself because, when I devote even a sliver of attention to my writing, I have great fun.
NaNoWriMo is a fantastic idea – give yourself a time-limited goal for something you want to accomplish and then just do the damn thing. The rules are simple – in one month, write 50,000 words of a new novel. In actual fact, the novel itself probably won't be done in 50,000 words, unless you're writing a Young Adult novel. The genre I'm going for usually has 80,000 to 100,000. I'd love to have the thing actually done by the end of November, but we'll see.
So, what is my big story? Well, I'm going to be a little cagey on that because I fear that what happened with Book #3 was that I talked it out rather than writing it out. I'll tell you what I can about it now. The genre is Chick Lit and I got the idea from a story in Pick Me Up, which is a trashy magazine that is absolutely one of my secret guilty pleasures. Yeah, that's really all I can say about it directly.
You can track my progress (and keep me honest) here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/userinfo.php?uid=139891.
Time to get writing!