Friday, July 31, 2015

I Survived Camp NaNoWriMo (and all I got out of it was this lousy banner -- and a novel)


NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It began as an annual event designed to encourage writers to scratch out an entire novel in thirty days' time. 50,000 words. No editing, no cleaning it up as you go along -- just down and dirty slapping the words in a recordable form. 

I started my novel "Party Line" during NaNoWriMo 2004, I believe, and promptly had a stroke long about the eleventh day. I spent the next few years learning how to write again, talk, and comprehend language. NaNo felt intimidating and dangerous to me after that. Although more than a few times, I toyed with participating, I chickened out at the last minute.

So this year a summer NaNoWriMo came along. It was set up as a summer camp, replete with tents and related themes, but the best part was the word count goals ranged as low as 10,000. 

I was piddling with writing a children's story I made up for my two older children -- getting it on paper and preserving it for posterity -- and I kept getting distracted by Life. Bottom line, I wasn't getting it done. And 10,000 words (I thought) was outrageous for a children's book. I didn't think I could come up with a full 10,000, but I figured I would at least get the story done.

So I signed on. And I ended up on July 27th with 10,013 words. The story isn't finished! New characters kept showing up behind trees, inside of trees, in the brook, and what-have-you. That's the way of enchanted forests. 

But I have my certificate and my Winner's banner, and I am pleased with myself. And I'm that much closer to completing my story. Only now, I foresee a series of books. Ain't Life interesting? ~GH