Monday, October 8, 2007

Revving up for NaNo

Last year I participated for the first time in National Novel Writing Month and I succeeded in reaching the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. I actually finished my novel by the end of November and I was proud and exhilarated.

See, I had previously been working on my 1st novel sporadically over the past decade or so. Life had always been too busy, too hectic, to finish it, but I had finally finished it at the end of September of last year. I was just thrilled I had finally completed my first draft of my first novel after struggling with it for ten years off and on.

It was shortly after that I found out about NaNoWriMo. The process intrigued me- write a 50k novel in 30 days! Impossible!

Or so I thought.

NaNo is truly a challenge with yourself. Of course you can chat with others, have discussions and whatnot on their forums, but it's not really a competition against others. It tests your own skills and pits you against your own fears and doubts, hopes and dreams. When I read up on what it was all about, I knew I had to do it. I mean, in all honesty, I thought it would take me ten years to write any novel. Look at how long it took to write my first one! LOL

But last November I made an amazing discovery about myself. I CAN write that much, if not moreso, in 30 days. Given a deadline made all the difference I believe. I wrote and finished the first draft of my 2nd novel during NaNo last year.

Of course, the high speed race to finish did leave me with brain drain for a couple of months after and I was going through a lot of stuff personally as well toward the end of the year last year. I've come a long way since then. Somewhere between Feb and April, I was blessed with an overflow of novel ideas.

I was also damned to almost insufferable pain with my teeth, but once that was over and I was back to myself, back to feeling "normal," I dug in, picked one of my favorite novel ideas that I just knew I had to write. I wrote and finished my 3rd novel between the middle of July and the middle of August.

Once I was done with that, I went back and did some major overhaul to my 1st novel- revisions, editing out stuff that just didn't fit, adding things that seemed to enhance the story. I've been participating in the Coffee Write story on Coffee Time Romance's forums and also including my "Arms of the Right Man" on here as a "blog novel." I call it my blog novel because I don't foresee ever submitting it to an agent or publisher, just something to play around with, testing my writing chops out in the open, which is taking a step outside my comfort zone. I rarely share anything I've written outside of family/friends. (BTW, any feedback, advice, or comments are welcome).

So now the time of NaNo is upon us again and I've got my novel idea picked out and I'm anxious to get started...but can't until November 1st. If I succeed again at writing and finishing a 50k+ novel again this year, I will have 4 novels written. Last night I started going through my printed manuscript of my novel from last year's NaNo, doing revisions- marking and highlighting changes I feel are necessary to the story.

I'm trying to distract myself from thinking about my NaNo novel for this year. It makes my fingers tingle at the idea of getting started. So for now I'll not think about it. Or try not to.

Have a great day. I will be posting the 6th installment of Arms of the Right Man later.

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