Saturday, October 31, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

It is inauspicious, for me anyway, that National Novel Writing Month starts today. (Technically, for me, it starts tomorrow, since I ain’t done with Saturday the 31st yet.) I have to work tomorrow night, and then open on Monday - which means that I won’t have much time to write tomorrow night when I get home from work. I almost always have Sundays off; and on the rare occasions when I do work on Sunday, it’s usually the opening shift. You could probably count on one hand the number of Sunday closing shifts I have had in the last year. Tomorrow is one of them, though.

The goal of National Novel Writing Month is for writers to hammer out a novel of 50,000 words in the span of one month. That’s 1667 words a day, which is a pretty good clip - even for folks who make a living at it; and it would be 140-150 pages (depending on a number of factors), which is on the low side for a novel in terms of page count. It would actually be more accurate to call it National Novella Writing Month, although even among writers, novella is a word you don’t hear much anymore - like strategery, except that it’s actually a word.

I’ve been thinking about putting aside the novel I’ve been working on and trying to do this thing, and since there seem to me to be several compelling reasons not to do it, I’m trying very hard to convince myself that I actually want to do it. I could blog about the process, at the end of every week and every tenth day - and use that as part of the motivation to keep going even when it feels daunting. (I could also just blog the novel as I’m working on it, day to day, but I’m definitely not that brave yet. If I can do it this year, though, I might think about it for next year’s National Novel Writing Month.)

So that’s pretty much that. I just wanted to throw out what the idea was and post some links about it. Oddly enough, Macworld magazine is always where I am reminded of National Novel Writing Month. I don’t recall ever reading about it in Poets & Writers, although I did let my subscription to that magazine lapse. The links, all from Macworld, are here and here and here.

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