Of course, I only realized this fact today. The significance of October besides Halloween and getting to try out the costume I’ve spent the better part of the past few months piecing together? (yes, I like dressing up) NaNoWriMo. Or more specifically, planning for NaNoWriMo.
What is NaNoWriMo? I hear you ask. Well, if you’d rather not stick around to hear my explanation, the link is right there. Just underneath the image. I’ll indulge anyway.
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an event held every November; the goal is for participants to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, through hell or high water. Simple, huh? The method works for some – the idea of letting go, writing a novel, and not stopping to edit until the the month is over and done with. No, it is not to everyone’s tastes, but I find it to be a necessary approach if I ever want to get any work done.
I feel justified in stating that yes, NaNoWriMo does work for me. No, nothing I’ve written during it has ever been entirely publishable (not without a lot of work), but don’t most, if not all, first drafts tend to go this way? The fact of the matter is, in no other month have I found myself able to get 180,000 words down on the page in the space of 30 days. And no, I didn’t even think I was capable of it before I did it; naturally, this only served to encourage me, and why not? I’d rather have something that can be worked on than have nothing written down on the page at all.
But what does this have to do with October? Well, this post may seem rather ironic now that I have published Not Plotting. Because I may very well start plotting … not for the same novel I’m not plotting for of course, but I feel it only sensible to do it prior to NaNoWriMo, given that I’m going to be writing at a reasonably fast pace (if the past couple of years are anything to go by), and I don’t think that I have the ability to formulate, or react to, plot elements quite so quickly than if I set them all out beforehand. This, and I feel as though my novel will be quite a different experience than it has been the past couple of years – not least because I plan to write it in the first person, and am somewhat hesitant to call it a novel. The intention, since the outset, was to write it as a series of short stories. I’d rather lace them all together while I can than rushing to do it and butchering the entire thing.
So, October is almost upon us and I have relatively little idea of what I’m going to do, which is to say, I have a basic concept. How I’m going to orchestrate this, the characters, and what happens to them are all things that I need to start focusing upon, I feel; I’d very much like for this to be an opportunity for me to be a little more … creative with some of the events, some of the things that happen to the characters, and to really get the ball rolling on what it is I would prefer to write. I get the feeling that anything I have written up until this point is simply not enough, that I can push much, much further and at least give my supposed ‘dream’ a shot.
What is that ‘dream’? Well, I have some far-fetched designs on being a female Easton Ellis or Palahniuk. Of course I feel pretentious for even saying that, and of course I know it is never going to happen. I don’t think that fully discounts me from having a little fun with that idea while I still can. I don’t think that it should prevent me from experimenting with my writing – if nobody is ever subjected to reading it, then who am I harming, really?
In other words, at the infancy of the novel I started, perhaps, a little too late in the day, I’m most likely already going to abandon it in favour of another. Aren’t I the promiscuous writer? Perhaps I’ll try doing something I seldom do and write both a story and an outline almost simultaneously, making fleeting attempts at not confusing elements of one with the other and getting myself into … well, a complete mess. One thing’s for sure, I will have this outlined before November gets here!
I’m sounding rather indecisive right now, aren’t I?