I imagine that there aren’t too many people in the writing arena who haven’t head of NaNoWriMo. If you haven’t, then go visit their website here; NaNoWriMo.
For those of us that have heard of it, you’ll all be aware at how great the competition is with regards to incentives for writing to a tight timescale, after all 50,000 words in a month is some good writing. I’ve tried this on a number of occasions and, in all honesty, have yet to meet the target in any of my attempts; a couple of them fizzled out, one never got past the plan idea and another is festering on my hard-drive at about 36,000 words.
I was going to take part in it again this year. I had an idea for novel that spawned out of the time I’ve spent sat in traffic the past few weeks as my new job includes a lot more travelling. On one particular evening when the rain was falling and the radio was bleating out some non-descript tune, I looked across to the car beside me and stared for a bit at the driver – Who was he? Where was he going? Where had he been? As my mind began to search for the answers, an idea for a novella took root and sprouted, and thus, ‘Jam’ was born. It was perfect timing for NaNoWriMo
Any eagle-eyed reader will have noticed that I said I was going to do NaNo this year – that was my plan and the idea for a new story was already in my mind. However, the awful truth of it is that my current novel has stagnated a number of times now and I’m still barely half-way through it. It just didn’t feel right doing planning, and expending energy, on something new when I still have something else that needs finishing.
So, I’ve decided to meet NaNoWriMo half-way! Instead of me pacing myself, using the various incentives to get a 50,000 word novella completed, I’m going to use all that energy and creativeness and try to knock out an extra 50,000 words on my first draft for my novel.
Will it work? I don’t know, I’ve already admitted that I’ve fallen short of completing a standard NaNo at each attempt. However, being pragmatic about the outcome, I would take an additional chunk of toward my novel’s completion over a half-finished project any time. Right now, there are only so many characters and ideas in my head that, if I add any more, my focus will blur and everything will just become white noise.
For those of you deciding to take on NaNoWriMo, I wish you all the best in your endeavours!