Thursday, September 29, 2005

Signs of autumn

This morning in Iowa: 37 °F / 3 °C

When I waved Terry off to work at 6:00 AM, I could see my breath. Orion stood tall in the south, and to the east, Leo held the crescent moon in his teeth. Yesterday was positively blustery - cool, breezy, and drizzly. It won't be long before I have to take all of the turtlenecks out of storage, and find my flannel jammies.

I don't sleep in the flannels, though. They are my weekend writing wear of choice when NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes around.

NaNoWriMo started out as a challenge among a few friends to write a complete 50,000 word novel in November. The next year, a few of their friends wanted to try it. In their sixth year (2004), more that 40,000 people signed up for the challenge, and over 7,000 succeeded at writing at least 50,000 words in 30 days.

"No Plot, No Problem" is the motto of the undertaking, and also the title of founder Chris Baty's fine book about how to write a 30-day novel. The idea is that by challenging yourself to write a lot of words in a short time, you don't have time to let excuses or your internal editor interfere with you just putting words on paper.

I've done NaNo for three years, and reached the 50K mark late on November 30 in two of those years. The experience has taught me:

  • Writing a romance is hard.
  • Writing a mystery is hard.
  • Writing a buddy story is really hard.
  • You can meet some pretty cool people. (I hooked up with the Pikers on the NaNo forums. And Warrior made it possible for me to meet Chris Baty, who is the nicest guy you would ever hope to meet.)
  • I should have paid more attention in typing class.

Nevertheless, I am planning to stay up late Friday, so I can sign up for the 2006 edition as soon as the forums open at midnight, October 1. [Edit: Now they are saying that the new forums will not be ready until about dinnertime here in the heartland. That is good. Save the unreasonable sleep patterns for November, when I really need them.] After last year's attempt, which had a good first day, and then quickly fumbled and stalled from the interference of real life, I swore I was not going to put myself through it again. But a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to someone, and a title flashed into my mind, quickly followed by a few ideas.

Aser just announced that she, too, will be back for another year. Who else is with us?


Holly said...

We're all insane.

I'm in, of course!

NaNoNuts 2005

Thanks for dropping by my other blog, earlier, Cheryl. I hadn't seen that video until today, and it almost made me cry.


Kris said...

Maybe next year. I'll to hop aborad