It’s October again, the buzz word on many writer’s lips is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Every November thousands of writers flock to their keyboards to pound out their 50,000 word novel. They only have the 30 days of November to write a book, although plotting, character discovery, and other preparations can be done (and is encouraged) before hand. Do these novels turn out any good? Well, no, not really. They are the foundation on which a great novel is built. First drafts tend to be filled with dreadful mistakes and poorly formed ideas anyway so writing one quickly isn’t a bad idea.
The prize for completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days? Bragging rights for the next year and the thrill of having done something amazing. There are certificates and other digital swag that can be posted wherever the winner wishes (you can see mine somewhere down on the right sidebar…).
I competed back in 2010, which now seems a very long time ago. I had more time and energy then, and one less child. I have intended on returning to the contest but the timing has never worked out. I spent November of 2011 being extremely pregnant and the year after I spent chasing the result of that pregnancy around the house, both activities were exhausting. This year I don’t have quite as good of excuse but all the same I am not drafting a new novel for NaNoWriMo. Shame on me.
Instead, I plan on doing something equally Herculean. I will be editing and revising the current draft of my book and getting it ready for a few select test readers. For the first time in four years I’m allowing someone other than my hubby to read the book in its entirety and see their reaction. The thought scares me to death.
The manuscript is just under 85,000 words, or roughly 280 pages. To complete the edit during November I’ll need to complete around 10 pages a day, and that doesn’t include what I end up adding to the text. I haven’t looked at the last draft since the middle of September and I’m hoping that the wait will grant me the perspective I need to see what is lacking. I already know that it’s a bit thin on setting and character description, hopefully there isn’t too much else. At this point in the game I can’t be changing major plot points, so there better not be any massive story errors to fix.
Starting November 1st, it’s crunch time! Let’s see just how much work can get done.
Opportunity for shameless self promotion – With NaNoWriMo in mind I am extending invitation out to my readers for guest posts here at My Literary Quest. I’ll be needing four writing related articles ranging from 400-600 words in length for each of the four Wednesdays in November. If you are interested, leave me a comment below and we’ll figure something out.