For the past two years, I’ve sworn off National Novel Writing Month. It’s not that I’ve ever turned my nose up at it. It’s just that I’m primarily a short-story writer, for one. And, more importantly, I’ve got a bit of a backlog of stuff that needs to be revised and submitted (or resubmitted). Plus, I’ve always had trouble wrapping my head around the idea of writing a novel. Besides having only one or two ideas that might possibly be big enough for that format, I get discouraged that I don’t have the level of fortitude I see in the novel-writing members of my critique group.
But somewhere along the line, I’ve gotten out of the habit of drafting new stuff while rewriting old stuff. If you’ve read or heard Ray Bradbury’s thoughts on writing, he’d probably tell me, “Yr doin’ it rong.” And it’s bothered me for the past twelve months, which is why NaNoWriMo keeps me coming back.
I’m not too hung up on whether or not I finish. I did back in 2005 and haven’t looked at the thing since, and since I’ve published a few things since then, it’s all good. Basically, I’m in this because my feeble Jedi skillz need work and I figure NaNoWriMo is the best way to kill all these birds with one thirty-day stone.
I’ve got a strategy which involves…
- Creating a novel of interlinked segments. Yes, you can check the NaNo boards for the endless debate about what constitutes a novel, but if Cat Valente’s In the Night Garden (The Orphan’s Tales, #1) and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum’s Madeleine Is Sleeping are novels, then so is my attempt, tentatively titled Thoughts of Reference.
- Going through my notebook–I’ve accumulated and tagged all these items, and dammit, it’s about time they started working for me.
- Channeling Ray Bradbury, the master who demonstrated that it was possible to write a story a week. I’m attempting something a little more ambitious, but at the same time, isn’t. All I’m after are first drafts!
You’re all welcome to join me for the ride, though I make no promises as to how long that ride might be. I’m always glad to offer help & support, but I gotta warn you: I believe in doing unto others as I would have done unto me, so my help & support might look a little something like this…
If you’re down with that, then by all means, look me up!