Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NaNoWriMo Ponderings

This year I'm going all in with NaNoWriMo. If that sounds like some alien language, I'll clue you in that it's actually an abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to take the month of November and write approximately 1700 words every day and produce a 50,000 word novel (about 175 pages) by the end of the month. Bring on the Q & A:

Question: Lisa, why in the world would you undertake such nonsense?
Answer: I've had at least three people whose opinions I value tell me in the past month, "You're a really good writer". I appreciate the compliments but in truth, I don't believe it. I read A LOT and to me "good writer" classifies authors that are way out of my league. Yet at the same time, the only way to make myself a better writer - and possibly even someday ascribe the "good writer" title to myself - is to get some practice and actually write.

Question: What is your novel going to be about?
Answer: I'm still working on that but as the advice I've most often read for new writers is "write what you know" there's pretty good odds that it will at least take place in a lab and might even be marginally biographical. Probably a good mix of genres since that's my reading style too.

Question: Why are you announcing this now?
Answer: I figure there's a two prong advantage if I get the word out that I'm participating, first, some of you might be crazy enough to try it with me and second, this way if I put the expectation out in public I'll be less likely to chicken out like I did last year when my inklings to do this were all in my head.

Question: Does this mean that we'll all get to read your novel on December 1st?
Answer: Fat chance! I've never tried this before and haven't actually written fiction since end of high school/early college. That means that there's a very high probability of producing 50,000 words of garbage and the amount of readers I pass my work onto will be inversely proportionate to the level of crap that deem it. There's only two people right now that are guaranteed a peek at what I come up with (you know who you are!). Of course, I may add people to that list if they (1) attempt NaNoWriMo with me or (2) are extraordinarily supportive of my pursuits. No guarantees though.

Question: Is there I way I can check in throughout the month and see how much progress your making?
Answer: As of November 1st there will be (hopefully) daily word counts and maybe even an excerpt posted on my NaNoWriMo Profile page (user: elbakerone). I'll also try to blog occasionally and let y'all know how things are going and if I freak out and quit half way through I'll shamefacedly admit that here as well. Until then, wish me luck!

Question: What if I have more questions about NaNoWriMo?
Answer: They have their own Q&A site. Find all your answers here.


Greg said...

I'm glad to hear that you're giving this a shot. Go get 'em!

Kate said...

Greg mentioned to me that you were going to do this, and I'm all for your efforts. It's late right now but the idea of joining you is going to roll around in my head...at least a little.