For most people, October 31st means pumpkins, costumes, and candy. For those of us crazy enough to take on the challenge, October 31st means only 24 hours left to prepare before National Novel Writing Month hits.
This will be my fifth year participating in NaNoWriMo. Over the course of the 30 days of November, I will be cranking out 50,000 words of a first draft of a novel. If you do the math, you will discover I need to write 1667 words a day to reach my goal. 1667 words is anywhere from one to two hours of writing, depending on how easily the words are flowing and how hard I’m laughing, which is the main reason I keep picking up the NaNoWriMo gauntlet. It’s fun. Over the top, laugh-out-loud, bwa-ha-ha fun. Sure, there are days when I approach the computer as if it were a toilet that needs scrubbing. But mostly, even on the hard days, I start writing and eventually a new idea occurs to me. Before I know it, I’ve written a couple pages following that idea into the wilderness. The results are usually pleasing, if not actually amusing.
As a NaNoWriMo veteran, I’m fairly confident I can make the deadline. Last year, when I had the busiest and most disrupted November of my four previous NaNoWriMo attempts, I still hit 50K words before December 1st. In order to up the stakes for 2010, I’ve decided to blog about my novel’s progress throughout the month. On top of the familiar challenge of writing a novel under the gun, I will be going public with my process and progress. All of which may be a huge mistake, as November is only hours away and I still do not know the name of my main character, let alone where she lives, what she does, or how she winds up in the midst of the action-packed, melodramatic romantic adventure I intend to write. [Note: Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a plot yet, either. Just a list of the many things that might happen at some point.]
Tomorrow: Day 1, in which I will probably confess that I sat in front of a blank screen for a long time before I actually started to write.