I've officially signed up as a participant in NaNoWriMo--which is code for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words for your novel in the month of November. I was still rewriting my middle grade fantasy novel when NaNoWriMo began, but I pushed myself to finish that and I began a new novel on November 8th.
But I can do this.
And I'm enjoying the challenge. I've embedded a word count calendar on this blog so anyone who's interested can track my progress. I'm averaging a little more than 2,000 words per day and, at that rate, I'm on track to reach 50,000 words before the end of November.
What do I like about writing a novel within such a tight time frame?
I love how alive the characters and setting become. I love how quickly the plot snaps into place and how subplots carry through and make sense. I wrote chapter one only two days ago, so today, as I write chapter six, I remember the character motivations and to pick up those subplot threads.
What do I dislike about writing a novel within such a tight time frame?
Nothing (except maybe some neck fatigue from looking at my computer all day.)
What is different about my life because I'm writing a novel in a month?
It's hard to stop typing and get out of my pajamas and take a shower. I actually picked up my son from kindergarten in my pajamas this week (a definite change for me). To my dismay, and to his delight, I had to go inside to get him. He laughed himself to hysterics and notified all students and teachers within earshot, "My mom is wearing her pajamas!
I think about the plot of my novel while I do everything else and my head is swimming with details from my research. This novel has looms and weaving and Andean farming practices mixed with an organic magic system and an oppressive society. So, I'm sure I have a vacant expression on occasion.
I enjoy my quality time with my children and am much more relaxed with them. When your brain hurts--reading simple picture books and playing Legos with a six-year-old is like a spa day.
To all you NaNoWriMo participants out there:
Write on! I hope you are enjoying the rigorous journey. Check back in a few days when I will have hit the middle of my novel--you know, uncooperative characters, lagging scenes where nothing important happens, subplots that went trailing down a tunnel to nowhere... Are any of you there yet?