Every year, the month of November brings us Nanowrimo. Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month–www.nanowrimo.org) Is a sort of contest which inspire writers to sit down and get a good start on a Novel by writing 50,000 words on one singular project within 30 days. I have been a member of the website for seven years now, and have actively taken the challenge 5 times that I can remember. I’ve only been successful in completing the challenge twice.
As much as I love this time of year, with all the creativity flowing and the creation of new and exciting worlds, I have come to the realization that Nanowrimo puts a serious fly into the ointment of my writing: It permits me, the writer, to be more sloppy than I ever should be. With it’s incessant demand for “word count”…”Word Count!” it forces me to use adverbs, adjectives and cliche with wreckless abandon in order to stretch my count to the highest that it can be. Then, after I finish for the month and go back to reread my work, I’m disgusted. I hate reading the wordy dreck that I’ve put on paper, and I find no affection for it. The happy feeling I had when writing my story disappears and I find loathing and dread when looking at the piece I have to edit, knowing that I might as well just start over.
I’ve decided to do this exercise one more time however, even though I find myself hating it every time I do it. This year, I’ve decided to go in with a game plan; and actual plot outline. I’m also not going to allow myself to be pushed to write dreck. I will no use crazy adjectives, adverbs, or other forms of literary garbage in order to pad the piece and make the wordcount. I will write the piece using short concise sentences when possible and try to use skill to make it likable so that when I return for editing it won’t be such a daunting task.
I encourage everyone to try Nanowrimo at least once in their lives. You don’t (and probably shouldn’t) have to take it as seriously as I do, but everyone should take the month during their lifetime and let a story from within them find life in the outside world. It really is great fun, and you meet some amazing, creative people on the journey toward the finish of your novel. Come on…give it a go!