Taking the plunge: NaNoWriMo

I’ve really gone and done it this time!

At some point last year a work colleague mentioned NaNoWriMo to me, and I had to ask what it was. ‘It’s this thing where you write a novel in a month,’ she said, or words to that effect. I looked it up at the time, and I distinctly remember thinking ‘Who on earth would do a thing like that?’

Someone like me, as it turns out.

After the initial ‘Whuh?’, I put NaNoWriMo out of my head; November was a whole year away.

Then I heard of people who’d actually done it, some of whom I knew through flash fiction; Brian S Creek and SJ O’Hart spring to mind. There are even people who make a habit of it.

I divided the NaNoWriMo target of 50,000 words by 30 and got 1667. A large but not impossible number of words. Then I thought about weekends, and put the idea to the back of my mind. Not out of my mind, I now realise; merely to the back, taking up room along with useless general knowledge and half-remembered episodes of Willo the Wisp.

The idea had been creeping forwards for some time, particularly as I’d come up with an idea for a full-length book a while ago, but didn’t feel that I was skilled enough to make a success of it if I started right away. ‘That could be my NaNoWriMo book,’ I said to myself, mostly joking.

Then I left my job this summer, with the aim of taking some time out and seeing if I could make it as a writer, any kind of writer. The excuses for not doing NaNo were stretching as thin as a strawberry bootlace. I could feel myself inching closer to it, reading blog posts about it, checking out the website…

And here I am, all signed up. Admittedly, my page currently says I’m writing a mystery called Utopia for Ducks, just because I don’t want to tie myself down too early (I’ll explain Utopia for Ducks in another post!). What I have in mind is a late-Victorian mystery, with a female main character, and I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ve been doing some research on the period, and I’m currently outlining, working through the early steps of the Snowflake Method to give myself something to hang on to. I’m aiming to write around 2500 words on writing days, which would give me weekends off, and if all goes to plan I’ll finish on the 27th November. We shall see!

Stay tuned for semi-regular updates, whingeing, doubt, and questioning my sanity throughout November. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo too, do stop by. I have a feeling I’ll need all the help I can get!

In case you’re wondering, the very fine NaNoRhiNo pictured is called Hammersmith, because that’s where we found him. As I collect rhinos you’ll see quite a few more in my NaNo updates!

9 thoughts on “Taking the plunge: NaNoWriMo

  1. Good luck with it! I’m planning to take the plunge this year too. I think it’s a great way to train one to become disciplined with their novel writing. I simply just want to see how far I can go in creating a first draft after many aborted attempts previously.


  2. apostrophediva

    It sounds very much the thing for you! I like the sound of a Victorian mystery. Are you going to start at 5am Trollope-style to get the daily word count done? Look forward to hearing more.

    Liked by 1 person

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