The National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo or NaNo) is soon to be upon us. This is the time of year where people all over the world sit down and try and write a 50k word novel during the month of November. The official website was launched this morning and I have already spent a good hour on it looking at the forums, updating my own details, and sorting out my plans for this year’s story. The trouble I had was dragging myself back from diving into too much research and not doing the things I was supposed to be doing instead. Once you venture down the NaNoWriMo hole you easily become lost in character names, descriptions, and tiny details like shoe colours and character quirks. Or even worse perusing the forums and chatting to people before the month has even begun!
This will be my 8th NaNo, which is nothing considering how long it has actually been going for, some people have been at it at lot longer than I. But I am still looking forward to putting my ideas to paper. Of the past 7 stories I have written I could honestly say only two I would make into actual books, and one a short story. These I have sitting on my computer, in their little folders, patiently waiting for me to edit them. I am adding notes and snippets to them all the time though so I like to think that counts for something for now.
This year I am writing a fantasy, first time for NaNo and for myself in awhile. I don’t think I have written a fantasy since primary school so it will be great to get back into the world building and mystic creatures side. I am returning to an idea I first thought about in 2009, but I started planning all the way back in April and by the time November came around I was over-planned and didn’t actually know where to begin so I changed stories the day NaNo started (a risky move on my part). In the years since I have thought about it some more, added bits and pieces to my idea and hopefully come 1st November I will be rearing to go.
There is so much to enjoy with NaNo, the joy of writing (and actually writing for a reason where you can’t keep making excuses not to), talking to other people from all over the world, and I even get a thrill from the stress of falling behind of word counts and doing mass catch ups in one sitting.
One of the changes to the NaNo site is the new badges that can be earned. Some of these are for simply updating your novel details, others are for participating in discussions, and for the consistent workers out there a few are even for daily novel updates, and even one for 30 days of constant updates. I may try and aim for that one this year.
Good luck if you’re choosing to participate this year. Whether you are a first time NaNoer, a seasoned participant, or somewhere in between, I wish you immense luck on this journey because it can be tough and challenging. The forums are your friends; you can turn to them for ideas, celebrations, discussions of shared experiences, and of course distractions and great games. As always WriteOrDie is a godsend I implore its use at all times, and I wish you all the success in reaching the 50k word goal!