October 13, 2010

Write a novel in November - NaNoWriMo

I had heard of the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, event before, and understood the gist of it. I had not thought of participating until reading this post listing five reasons to do so.

Having learned much in the past years from writing my three non-fiction books and a collection of poems, the latter published only two days ago, I realized that trying to write a novel might be exactly what I need.

I have tried before. In recent posts I began publishing the first draft of the initial 13,000 words of a manuscript for a novel that I wrote in 2005, with the working title Ironwoman, though have yet to finish. (Read more here)

As a longtime journalist I am more comfortable with writing non-fiction. Besides, the truth is often stranger than fiction. Most of what I read is non-fiction, in recent years especially, including the book I am enjoying now, Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau.

However, crafting fiction is a mystery I would like to resume exploring after my initial and abandoned effort with Ironwoman. The word Novel alone is beautiful and enticing enough motivation to begin working on one.

My third book A Work in Progress: Exercises in Writing, of which I wrote the first 20,000-word draft in eight days straight, is very much about the process of writing quantity before focusing on quality; I have experienced the value of writing fast, with abandon, in the first draft.

Writing 50,000 words in 30 days means producing less than 2,000 words a day. If you focus on writing, and let go of your internal editor and critic, that could be done in less than an hour, or two at most.

If you've ever considered, even for the shortest fleeting moment, writing a novel ... why don't you join too?

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