Heyo. This time last year I was prepping myself to give a try at cracking NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is a novel writing exercise for the weak-hearted who don’t quite have the drive to get started on writing a novel without external motivation. I tried my hand at it and I failed miserably. Going through whatever work I wrote last year, I realised I have plenty of things to learn and figure before I sincerely start on writing a novel.
So I thought maybe I should take it a little easy this year around, read more novels, learn the art of telling stories and generally keep myself interested in writing. Which lead me to NaBloPoMo — the event which I hope will persuade me to continue writing regularly on a schedule, help me improve on generating and incubating ideas as well as hone my writing skills.
So here I am, promising to post once every day (starting with this one) for the whole of November — that would be 30 posts in just a month and hopefully will be the change that reinvigorates this blog and my interest in blogging and writing.
I’ll mostly write about topics that I hope are worth thinking about a little and maybe discuss with some of you if possible. Do stick around for the month and we’ll have a jolly good time together, surely.
It took me this long to admit — and it was painful — that I am going to give up on NaNoWriMo this year. It was my virgin attempt at NaNoWriMo (and at writing a novel as well) and I imagined it to be easier than it was. That was a blunder now I wish I hadn’t committed.
I took the whole process easy and didn’t put in a honest attempt until it was too late. I only really started writing around the mid-second week of November. I knew I can’t spend enough time writing with my Semester exams coming in the third week. Yet, I didn’t bother too much with NaNoWriMo initially.
I expected myself to do long hours at a stretch towards the end of the month and catch up with the backlog. It didn’t quite work out like that though. My quality of writing took a hit (massive enough to convince me to throw out everything I wrote thus far1) and I couldn’t force myself to sit and write either. It was difficult and it was ugly.
The whole episode was a regrettable mistake and as it turned out, I only wrote 16,000-odd words, far short of the 50,000 words required to rightfully win at NaNoWriMo.
At least, it wasn’t a lose-lose situation. I now know exactly what to look for, what blunders to avoid and how to get on and win at NaNoWriMo next year. Hurray for that!
And a takeaway too: Write early. Write often. It might be clichéd but it does apparently work wonders.
They tell me people don’t like to read. I don’t know about them but I like to write — actually, change that to love — I love to write so much that I signed up for NaNoWriMo. This love for writing may be short-lived or even impulsive. Or it might be the start of a new world of awesomeness for me. Who cares?
After all, it’s November and that’s the only thing I care right now. Because it’s time for some insane non-stop writing and a lot of bang-your-head-against-the-wall — I mean NaNoWriMo.
Yes, I declare myself a participant of NaNoWriMo 2013. I accept the challenge. As part of the challenge, I will be working on my virgin novel “Life Beyond Control“.
To give a glimpse (or maybe a lengthy teaser) of it, Sid is madly in love with his family and finds himself entangled in a serious delusional series of nightmares. He is, however, determined to go the distance — life beyond control — and do anything to retain his family. Did he succeed? Or did he go too far? Therein lies madness.
Wanting to know what Sid did or what happened to him, I asked him and he replied keeping his cool, “What happened? I don’t know. You tell me..”
Eh fine. If you don’t want to reveal the plot, maybe the narrator will. Oh wait. The narrator doesn’t want to spoil the story either, at least not before the end of November.
Wow. They really know how to build up the tension. If you are like me and want to keep track of Sid’s adventure (or is it misadventure?), here’s a handy widget, displaying Sid’s progress:
See y’all at the end of November!
It’s always been my lifelong long-time aspiration to author a novel. And this is going to be my best bet achieving that. Through NaNoWriMo.
So, what’s this NaNoWriMo?
NaNo in a Nutshell
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel. Here’s a little more about how it all works.
The Office of Letters and Light, the nonprofit behind NaNoWriMo, identifies one real issue with potential novelists: lack of time and motivation. Most wannabe writers, myself included, will never be able to make the time it takes to write a full novel.
The desire wanting to write a novel will be present but low down other “pressing” priorities for it to have any impact. NaNoWriMo intends to deal with this — by putting itself at the top of the priority list. I am fine with that. As long as I manage to complete my novel.
There is also an emphasis on the quantity rather than quality. Reason: quantity is much easier to measure than quality. After all, the only real purpose for a first draft is to exist.
I do have my Semester exam in November but I plan to make time right before and after the exam. Heck, exams come every so often but a chance to write your novel? Not often enough.
P.S. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I totally posted this to prevent myself from falling back on the promise to complete a novel this November. If no one knew about my challenge, then there’s no shame of me failing on the challenge.
If you see me anywhere after November, ask me if I did get done with the novel. I probably would have — but if I decide not to in the middle of the month, the possibility of being shamed will hopefully act as a sufficient motivator to get me to complete the first draft of the novel.