Another October ends, another month of crazy writing starts. Yep – it is time for NaNoWriMo! Shane (the overachiever this week) already has a post up on this via Novelnaut, but wanted to get a post up myself. As of starting this post – there is 7 hours till midnight! My tradition is I stay up and write for a solid hour till 1am… and then since it is usually a work night, head to bed knowing I at least accomplished something for the first day.
This will be my fourth nano. My first was 2008 and a spectacular fail… think I dropped after the first week. 2009 – now that was the year of my first nano victory and where I really found I loved this whole writing thing. 2010 was also a win, though less satisfied with the product of the month. I think that novel is going to be perminantly relegated to truck status. It was a good experience, but not worth investing further effort in at this point. Perhaps I might canabalize charters or minor plot points from in the future.
This year, for NaNoWriMo 2011, I am going to take a different approach. With work and life events, I view it as the most “high risk” nano since I started doing this annual adventure. I have been wanting to work more on my short story form, so have decided to combine that with nano this year. Still go for the 50k goal, but in the form of ten 5,000 word short stories. This is technically not true nano form, but I go more by the spirit than the letter of the law here. The whole purpose of NaNoWriMo is to inspire one to write, write regularly (and in volume) so that at the end of those 30 days you have a solid platform to work from.
In a way, this is achieving two things for me. First, it makes it a bit more challenging as I am forcing myself to build 10 different plots, casts, and whatnot, all within the same month. True, plotting out a 5,000 word short story is a bit different than a 50,000 novel – but still. I am going for a few different genres, a couple of which I haven’t tried writing in before. The second thing it achieves for me is – success in the event of failure. With my serious doubts on my time availability this year, more so than any other year, by doing short stories instead of the single novel, if I say only end up with 30,000 words… that still gives me six short stories to revise and edit.
If you haven’t ever attempted NaNoWriMo or tried to write that sort of volume (or greater!) in a single 30 day period, and wish to give it a shot, by all means do so! Go with the usual rules and hit that 50k mark. You will learn a lot of things during your first nano or two. (Well every time you try pushing yourself really.) That is one of the reasons I am breaking the rules this year. I KNOW I can write 50,000 in a month. I have done it – twice now for nano alone. Heck I know I can write well over 5,000 words in a single day… so I am giving myself a different challenge this year with the multiple short stories in multiple genre’s.
I am going to have a follow up post on this, but I use Scrivener to keep nano writing going and organized. There is both a Mac and a Windows version – the windows version has just gone up for sale. I highly recommend the software, so keep an eye out for my article soon on why.