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Monday, 31 October 2011

Taking The NaNoWriMo Challenge


NaNoWriMo is short for 'National Novel Writing Month', an annual event that started in the USA and has become international.

Okay, so I'm mad. Nuts, perhaps, but a touch of insanity never did anyone any real harm. The challenge, for those who don't know it, is to write at least the first 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. This requires an average daily word count of 1,667. It's generally considered good going to produce between 500 and 1,000 words per day; James Joyce once famously admitted to having written only 1 word on one day whilst writing, I think, Ulysses, and Hilare Belloc took 13 years to write one of his novels. On the other hand, Antony Trollope was pretty speedy, and he's not alone.
I've been known to write a complete short story of up to 4,000 words in a day and, whilst writing my fantasy trilogy (still a work in progress, by the way), I've managed between 2 and 3,000 words a day fairly frequently.
I start this challenge tomorrow. A Tuesday. Tuesday is my long day at work (I'm employed part time, doing 18.5 hours over 3 days), the rest of the time, my writing is my work. I've created my characters and have a basic framework upon which to hang events. I know roughly where I intend to go with the story and I have a theme and a style I wish to use. With this book, I want mostly to entertain and amuse; so I'm aiming primarily for comedy. Having previously written only short spells of funny stuff, I've no idea how I'll perform on a longer work. But, hell, that's the whole point of this: to set yourself a challenge.
It's a self challenge. You're not in competition with other writers in this forum. The idea is for each individual writer (and it's estimated there'll be over 250,000 of us!) to set out to do the very best they can in the time allocated.
So, I invite you all to join me as I make this journey. If you're a wannabee novelist who has never had the courage, determination, will or opportunity to begin that opus you've carried in your head, I suggest you use this as the stepping stone to completion of your dream. The link for the supporting site is http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/dashboard  and it's a five minute job to register. You have until midnight tonight to join in the fun.
If you're a reader with no pretentions toward writing, then I invite you to follow my progress and ask for your support in the form of comments as I feed you the daily progress.
I'm making a public declaration of this aim, and I stand to make a fool of myself if I don't manage at least the 50,000 words, but I'm taking the risk in the hope that something good and useful will come out of the effort.
Wish me luck. I'm going to need it!

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