NaNoWriMo – the countdown begins (again)

NaNoWriMo2009-1Dear [supernatural-deity-of-personal-preference], it’s almost that time of year again. NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, when people all over the world park their lives for thirty days to try and write a novel.

I posted about this last year, but for those of you who need a reminder, this is the process:

  1. Sign up with the official site. (You don’t have to, but it is kinda the point of the exercise.)
  2. At some point after one second past midnight (local time, whatever that happens to be) on November 1st, you may begin writing your novel.
  3. You must begin something new – in the organisers’ own words:
    “This sounds like a dumb, arbitrary rule, we know. But bringing a half-finished manuscript into NaNoWriMo all but guarantees a miserable month. You’ll care about the characters and story too much to write with the gleeful, anything-goes approach that makes NaNoWriMo such a creative rush. Give yourself the gift of a clean slate, and you’ll tap into realms of imagination and intuition that are out-of-reach when working on pre-existing manuscripts. … Outlines and plot notes are very much encouraged, and can be started months ahead of the actual novel-writing adventure. Previously written prose, though, is punishable by death.”
  4. Update your wordcount at whatever frequency you like, but the aim is to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month. Anytime after November 25th you can upload your novel into the official wordcounter for verification.
  5. Sit back, and bask in the glow of having actually done the deed. (Plus all winners will get an official “Winner” web badge and a PDF Winner’s Certificate.)

I know I said last year that I would try it this year, and I am tempted. Although starting something new is a bit scary. (My poor Long-Abandoned Dystopian Fantasy Novel! One day I will return to you, I promise!) But this year may just be the best shot I have at doing this – I only have one day of teaching in November, and don’t have (m)any other committments that I know of. Next year is shaping up to be rather busier …NaNoWriMo2009-3

Any others out there thinking of having a go at this? Thoughts, fears, ambitions etc? War stories from those who have survived it before? (Laurice?)

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