I guess I’m writing a novel

Like everyone else, I too have a few life goals I fancy myself achieving before I die. Some are professional (earning a PhD for instance…preferabbly before age 30) to ones that are less so (like watching a World Cup final from the stands…hopefully with Turkey in the fixture). However, to crown them all, I’d like to publish a novel some day. I already contribute regularly to a couple of prominent online writing communities, but I only write short stories, nothing more.

The first time I attempted a novella was (rather surprisingly) also the last; I was utterly lost and couldn’t bear to kill my babies anymore. I either lack the patience to work on anything that is over 5,000 words, or I still haven’t been able to acquire a knack for diligent social observation that most established authors have. Either way, I blame my age. It helps me sleep at night.

Also, there are some who feel that you should write like you’re in a race against the clock. Mulling over your last paragraph not only has the obvious effect of taking an exorbitant amount of time away from your schedule, but also takes its toll on your creativity; you basically need to write like there’s no tomorrow. And that, my dear friends, is why I’m taking part in the National Novel Writing Month. I think it’s a really novel idea (sometimes I wonder why I’m not published yet) that any writer, no matter how crappy hopeless, should consider.

The basic idea is to write a 50,000-word masterpiece in one month:

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.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

Last time around, only 10,000, out of the 60,000 that originally signed up, were able to cross the finish line. So I’m looking forward to it, and I will try to post updates and little excerpts as we move towards December.

Godspeed.

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~ by ziddi on November 1, 2006.

4 Responses to “I guess I’m writing a novel”

  1. NaNoWriMo, someone i know is trying that, good luck to you 🙂

  2. I am trying to write a novel as well, though I havent started it yet 🙂 . But seriously, I guess one should be a very good reader first and should analyze the things s/he reads. However there is something silly in this, that is, while I am reading some short stories and novels which were published obviously, I say this is crap. This is my biggest obstacle. I think my tastes with the publishing community do not match at all.

  3. How is it coming along?

  4. Only two days left…stay tuned!

    Will he finish it, won’t he?

    Will he be carried on the proud shoulder of this little town for all to see, or will he bring shame upon his family and friends?

    These are just some of the questions that will be answered on December 1st.

    …sometimes I feel there’s too much excitement on this blog for one person to handle…

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