I’m 90% certain that I’ll have a pop at NaNoWriMo this year. Never heard of it? Basically, you have the 30 days of November to write 50,000 words.
Why would I do this? In my desk drawer there are three hefty chunks of novels in various unfinished states. The first I worked on for about 3 years from 1996 – 1999 (A-levels, gap year, uni) is pretty much complete. Rather grandly called The Life of Riley it’s the tale of 3 multi-millionaire lottery winners who attempt to commit the perfect murder. Vaguely comic, with a good dose of political sleaze, it weighs in at about 100,000 awful, hackneyed words.
Book number 2, called variously 908 and Do you remember the first time? revolves around a university couple who resume their relationship together 15 years later. It’s told backwards and ends on their first date and I stopped writing it because I became hideously knotted up with chronology. But it’s good enough to resurrect one day.
Manuscript 3 is the one, I guess, I’m still working on. It’s a historical thriller and that’s all I’m gonna say about it: I don’t want anyone nicking what I believe to be a bloody brilliant idea.
So why NaNoWriMo? I’m firmly of the opinion that writing is an industrial process. Sure, you have a flash of inspiration and need to flesh out ideas creatively, but the bulk of the craft of writing is churning out words, honing them, reediting and grudgingly admitting that they’ll do. So, the incentive to write intensively and dump the bare bones, thoughts and details I have in my head on to paper is a welcome one. A passable first draft seems ambitious: 50,000 potentially unintelligible words seems a realistic outcome.
I have a concept, a thin plot and a single character in mind and crucially no research is required. All I have to do, for 30 days, is write about 1600 words a day. That’s all. Cripes. Wish me luck.
Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? Let me know! I’ll keep you posted on my progress.