Nanowrimo begins at midnight. 50,000 words in 30 days. Yes, that's 1666.66 words per day for 30 consecutive days. Two single-spaced pages (Arial, 10 pt.) a day. For thirty days. In the span of these 50,000 words, it is assumed that you will be writing a novel. Not the same word on repeat. Not a novel you've already written or begun. Something fresh. From the beginning. Starting at midnight. Did I mention it is for thirty days? In a row?
Some thoughts before the madness begins:
- It often seems futile to do such a thing. What dreck can come out of thirty days of writing? How good can any of it really be? It is at moments like these that I steel myself with thoughts of discipline, of flexing the writing muscle in new ways, of proving to one's self that it can, in fact, be done. This type of thinking never works in the end, but I find it's good to start out with as much positive ju-ju as I can muster.
- What of all the "have no plot? no worries!" forums that proliferate endlessly during nanowrimo? I steer clear for the most part. Yet, it is fascinating to see people log on and ask, frantically, about what chronic illness might keep someone in bed for three weeks or what type of spider might inflict a certain wound. These are never things I stumble upon when writing a novel. It is the bigger things. You know, like, what is the plot. Who are these characters that I've assembled. This either means I'm more advanced or woefully, woefully ill-equipped to be a writer. I'm guessing the latter but there are moments of nanowrimo that convince me otherwise. Even for a few paragraphs or so.
- Will I be attending the "write-ins" with other writers in LA? Nope. Not going to happen. I find it is much easier to complain about what isn't getting done than to just shut the hell up and get it done. I don't need any temptations and it seems that a big group-write halfway through would muck up my whole process. But that's just me. Of course, that assumes I have a process. Which I don't. Yet. I have 14.5 hours to get one sorted.
- The Title. The folks at nanowrimo strongly encourage you to give a title to your as yet begun novel. The theory is that with a concrete title, the rest will feel...more real. Tangible. Not in vain. Yet, without a single word on a page, I'm having a very difficult time fashioning a title for my vapor novel. I am taking suggestions.
- At times like these, great heaven knows...it is vital to have a music playlist that sets the tone of the vapor novel in hopes that your vapor characters will take on the same mood and vibe of the music playlist and become less vapor, more fleshy. Okay. It's weak, I admit. Using music as the plotter, the builder. But it has worked in the past. On occasion. Again, taking suggestions. If directly linked to your title suggestion, all the better. The only thing I really cannot do well at all is, well, there are a few things: horror, westerns, science fiction, historical epics. Everything else is game.
So, with that, I will suit up. I will ready my mind, begin to conjure up characters and watch the clock tick slowly down to the witching hour. I will test my word count function repeatedly throughout the day to ensure the apparatus is working. I will make notes and charts and outlines of possible characters for my possible novel that has no name or soundtrack. Yet.
Daily word count, progress, soundtrack modifications, character deletions, plot machinations et al will be covered here at Counterbalance, if only as a distraction from the task at hand.
Let the games begin.