02 October 2013

To NaNoWriMo?

It's that time of year: the month before NaNoWriMo. The fine folks at NaNoWriMo.org have emailed past participants, reminding us that the first of November fast approaches. Writers from all over tweet/post/G+ tidbits about their preparations for the game that starts in just a few weeks.

All the chatter raises the question: To NaNoWriMo? It's like a big, red, question mark.

Before NaNoWriMo 2008, I'd been studying fiction-writing books, completing exercises, flirting with writing. Eventually I figured it was time to stop talking about writing and to just write. So I took the leap in 2008 and signed up for NaNoWriMo. With the mantle of "Writer" around my shoulders, I forged ahead with an outline, a new laptop, and family that gave me time to write in the interstices of our life.

Two drafts of that story later, four other novels, and a new bio focused on my writing endeavors, the question is back. To NaNoWriMo?

I can think of a few reasons why NOT:
  • After working with my editor, I've learned that just getting words on a page can be helpful to achieving a 1st draft. However, the adventure can lead to a never-ending, torturous revision. (As I found out.)
  • Working on a NaNoWriMo story, no matter how exciting it is to create something from those blank pages and clicks on a keyboard, means that my other stories continue to languish in the recesses of my hard drive.
But the temptation of NaNoWriMo calls...
  • To be part of a world-wide community in which each person commits to write 50k words in one of the busiest months of the year, without all the messy social entanglements.
  • A game against myself... Can I win this year? How good/cohesive can I make the story?
  • NaNoWriMo is the rabbit hole that brought me to this writing world, so it holds a soft spot in my heart.
  • Those dang t-shirts.
To get that infernal red thing out of my head, I've decided to NaNoWriMo this year. 

But I won't be following the rules exactly. I won't be writing a new story per say, but working on the revision of that 2008 NaNoWriMo adventure. The 3rd-draft outline is nearly complete, and the second half of the story deviates from the 1st-draft. The story is different enough, I think, to be a "new" story.

So, short story long, that's my declaration: To NaNoWriMo.

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