Monday, November 16, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

It's really not a very good excuse as to where I have been since October, but I am taking part in National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo to its friends, is like a marathon. Participants labor away in whatever way they see fit to produce a minimum 50,000 word novel by the end of November. Like a marathon, pacing is key, and most participants try to produce 1,600 words per day.

Unfortunately, like most things I take up, I have a tendency to fall behind. But right now, I am ahead of schedule by a few hundred words. The weekend was good for something, I guess!

I'm breaking my work-induced silence (which I have been regretting, as you know from previous posts where I regret not posting) is that I have reached a major milestone: I am halfway.

25,000 words. I cannot believe I have come this far. I'm excited, but truth be told terrified at the prospect of the next 25,000. For the moment, I will revel in my accomplishment.

You can follow my progress here, as well as learn a little bit more about what I am working on. I'm keeping it pretty close to the chest for now, since the emphasis of NaNoWriMo is quantity, not quality. In an event like this, there isn't time for editing or second guessing. I have to plow ahead with whatever is on the page.

In the end, I think this kind of approach to writing is good for me. In other projects, I can barely get past the first few pages because I make the mistake of starting at the beginning, and trying to make it right the first time.

The pace of NaNoWriMo takes care of the second problem, and a neat program I am using called Scrivener is taking care of the first. It's like a magical three-ring binder that lives in your computer and lets you jump around with your writing and hold all your research in one place.

Confession: part of why I am trying to finish this book so I can get 50% off Scrivener. It's just great. I don't think I would have made it this far without it.


Regarding the novel: again, I don't want to say too much since it's very silly, but I know that you, gentle readers, are surely chomping at the bit to find out what's going on.

My novel is set in the very early 1400's, a time period I know very little about. A monk arrives in the city of Hamelin as part of an effort to produce an ornate and definitive history of the city. Along the way he discovers that this very town is the setting of the Pied Piper legend, and begins to ask the townsfolk about the strange event in the name of historical accuracy.

This unleashes a torrent of disparate stories, strange tales, and bizarre events that will (of course!) lead to the town's undoing.

Really, the whole thing is just a framing device to introduce different variations on the Pied Piper story. So far, each more disturbing than the next.

For me, this whole process was kicked off by hours browsing Wikipedia. I learned from the Pied Piper article that this story is much weirder than I originally thought, and has some basis for truth.

For updates on my NaNoWriMo novel, keep watching the blog and keep an eye on Twitter as well. You can also stop by my NaNoWriMo user page, if you like.

And thanks for stickin' with this ol' blog as well. I'm grateful for each and every one of you!

1 comment:

Kris said...

Kudos to you for getting a lot further than I did. Hope you make it to the 50,000.