Sunday, November 01, 2009

Writer, Writer, Pants On Fire

Today, November 1st, officially kicks off National Novel Writing Month, and the start of the annual NaNoWriMo program.

What is NaNoWriMo, you ask? In it's own words:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

This is a grueling pace. I know, because it's similar to the one I keep month after month, year after year, in order to produce two novels a year. And my novels are not 50,000 words, but generally fall between 77,000 and 85,000 words each. They must also be honed and polished when they hit my editor's desk. Of course, I take a bit longer than a month to do this. And during the year I must also do editorial edits and galley corrections on other books and book promotion.

I think NANOWRIMO is a great jump start for those budding authors who have never thrown commitment into their writing. NANOWRIMO isn't about whether someone has the talent to write a novel, but whether or not he or she has the cajones to stick it out. No matter what.

Several people I know have signed up to participate this year and I wish them all the best.

TIP: put your heiny in the chair, your fingers on the keyboard, and type like your pants are on fire and only getting to your word count will put out the blaze.

It works for me.

Since my 6th Odelia Grey novel is due to my publisher in exactly 75 days, I will be conducting my own unofficial and personal NANOWRIMO program this month. See you on the other side of November, scorched panties and all.

For a fun look at the potential aftermath of NANOWRIMO, check out Alan Orloff's blog about it. He's looking ahead to December 1st. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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