Only 3 days left until NaNoWriMo!
What, you may ask, is NaNoWriMo? Twelve years ago, a group of crazy writers declared November National Novel Writing Month. (No fair noting that all writers are slightly crazy since they routinely plot bizarre schemes and claim to hear fictional characters talking in their heads.) The challenge is to produce one 50,000-word work of fiction from scratch in one month’s time (between 1-30 November).
That “from scratch” bit is perhaps the most interesting part. The idea is to conquer fear, hesitation, overthinking, writer’s block, analysis paralysis, or anything else that’s been holding you back and JUST WRITE! If you absolutely, positively need some idea of where your story is headed, you have about 3 days to scrape together a few outline notes and charts, but it’s fine if you choose to write by the seat of your pants.
Notice that nowhere does the challenge say that the story has to be excellent or publishable (though some NaNoWriMo stories do eventually find their way into print). That’s really not the point. What IS the point is to conquer your inhibitions, develop some writing disciplines, and experience the excitement of creating an alternate reality on paper. It’s like plopping a big ol’ lump of clay down on the potter’s wheel. That’s where you start. You can shape it later during the editing process.
I’ll let you in on a secret (that probably isn’t very secret). This spring we plan to offer our student writing contest again. In May you’ll have an opportunity to submit the all-important first pages of your story for a thorough (and always encouraging) critique and the chance to win a prize. How about using next month as your starting point? Slap that wet clay on the screen, and then use the NOVELWritingSite lessons to guide your edits in the months to follow.
I double-dog dare you! 🙂