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NaNoWriMo: A Seed is Planted

September 18, 2009
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I blame Perpelina completely for this.  There I was, Plurking along quite happily, when all of a sudden I came across her Plurk referring to her excitement over ‘NaNo’.  Hmm, I pondered.  What is this ‘NaNo’ of which she Plurks?  And why does it conjure such an air of anticipation and promise?  Well, I couldn’t just leave it there, and carry on my merry way, now could I?  So what did I, in my infinite wisdom, decide to do next?  Why, I Googled it of course!  Big mistake.  This is what I found:  National Novel Writing Month.  NaNoWriMo.  The NaNo of which she Plurked.  And now, I am completely hooked.  Hopelessly sucked in to the idea of this crazy, impossible, exhilarating challenge.  For those of you who followed the link, but can’t be bothered to read all the information (and those of you who couldn’t be bothered to follow the link in the first place – I know who you are!) – I will summarise it for you.  The idea is a simple one:  those who take part have to write a 50, 000 word novel, on any subject, within a month.  From November 1-30, word counts will be submitted regularly, encouragement given and new friends made – although making it through is certainly not guaranteed!

I think the idea is to jump-start the creative juices.  By focusing on quantity rather than quality, people can let go and allow the story and the characters to take over.  For me, this is a fantastic opportunity – the nudge (ok, the giant kick up the backside) I have needed to actually sit down and write something.  No longer will I be able to waste time in the ‘planning’ stages of a book, with endless research, characterisation and the like.  Oh no, now I actually have to pull all of that together into a semi-coherent novel which may – with a bit of work – be worth reading by somebody other than me.  Or my loyal family and friends, who will tell me it’s great with their fingers crossed behind their backs.  Yes, this time I have to do it properly – eek!

I am excited and terrified by turns at the thought of taking part in NaNo.  Coming to it this late, I have zero preparation done!  I am also going to have to invest in iWork (as I currently have no word processing application on this MacBook!).  On the plus side, though, I have had an idea for a story niggling away at me for some time now.  After a funk lasting months, where my creativity deserted me completely (really, you could see the tumbleweed blowing through in the absence of anything even resembling an idea) I suddenly had two ideas hit me at the same time.  One, I seized upon immediately.  I love it, I want to work on it for a long while, lovingly shaping the story, meeting and understanding my characters and seeing the direction their lives take them in.  This idea, then, is not an option for NaNo!  The other idea, though, just could be.  I have a (very) rough idea sketched out in one of the (many) notebooks which litter the house.  Now to get the research side of things done and dusted before NaNo begins!

So, my friend Perpelina, I give you my thanks for planting this crazy seed of an idea in my mind – you may be regretting it come November 30th!  And to all those lovely people who have made various comments about my having a good writing style, and telling me I should take it further – you share an equal part in the blame!  I will keep you updated as I go along – whatever the outcome, my creativity seems to be back in spades and for that I am very grateful indeed.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009 20:01

    Yahoo! (dance) (banana_rock) 😀

  2. Lona permalink
    September 18, 2009 20:55

    How wonderful, Hannah! Bless you! Do it and don’t dwell on the difficult! I’m so looking forward to your updates.

  3. September 18, 2009 23:31

    You will love it! I am so excited that you are joining in the madness this year! I can’t wait until November 1st so we can all get going!

  4. Amle permalink
    September 19, 2009 00:20

    I love this idea! I feel like I should jump on this crazy train of writing but I’m a little scared because of my lack of experience. But maybe I need something like this to at least get me started.
    I’m happy for you and really looking forward to seeing your updates!

  5. September 20, 2009 16:11

    I’m so tempted to join in the madness, too! I’m working on the second draft of my current project, but not sure the timing will work out to allow me to participate. I really want to, though…

    It’s so fun to see people start to get excited about the prospect of writing. You should totally do it, and I can’t wait to read up on your progress! You too, other commenter Amle! I may just be joining you guys…

  6. September 28, 2009 07:20

    Don’t worry about not having enough preparation! My first NaNo was three years ago and I found out on 2nd November =P. I have never wrote anything remotely novel length, only had some vague idea of a story, and I had to do a lot of travelling that month. But I made it! (Just don’t ask me the quality of the novel)

    @owlandsparrow: me too, working on editing my two other novels. But my friends convinced me to join anyways. They said: take a break and have fun writing on November. When else would you have such support group. I’m sold!

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