Friday, October 22, 2004

November is right around the corner, and that means it's time for another National Novel Writing Month! While I came up something less than short in my first attempt last year, it did serve as a helpful exercise in getting me away from thinking in verse and moving back towards fiction. It was also a good reality check on time management and another lesson in how bad I am at it.

I'm ready to give it another try this year, though, and will actually come up with a sensible schedule to get me through it. I don't have the luxury of setting aside an hour or two for writing every day but I can definitely recapture some of the time I waste online reading other peoples' blogs, fantasy football updates, comic book reviews and political coverage. The latter, something I've been accused of indulging in too much lately, will be a welcome break after a year of following it all so rabidly.

The biggest challenge in writing a novel in a month is my bad habit of editing on the fly instead of going with the flow. Over the years, I've written some really tight first chapters! Letting the words come out without tweaking them is the hardest thing for me. The one time I managed to pull it off, I wrote a 40-page screenplay in one weekend. Of course, that was 10 years ago! Actually, the 10-year anniversary of that first draft - it grew to 110 pages after the third revision and remains the only work of significant length that I've ever completed! - is November 27th, the last Saturday of this year's NaNoWriMo! A sign, perhaps?

Of course, what to write is an equally big challenge. Last year, I tried to pull off a fantasy novel but got bogged down in creating the details of the world it took place in, researching Taino history and learning a lot of good stuff in the process, but not getting much actual writing done. If I wrote 5,000 words in total, it was a lot.

So I have a week to settle on a story. Suggestions, as always, are welcome. Especially ones issued as a challenge! (No research required, though, please!)

Also welcome, would be anything from my recently updated Wish List. Hook a struggling writer with a wife and two kids up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You forgot you were supposed to be DMing and tring to keep the players interested instead of writing the great american D&D novel.