This is the first in a two part series about how I feel approaching the challenge of my first attempt at NaNoWriMo: writing 50,000 words of a new novel during the month of November. My novel, “The Esclavan Abductions,” will begin the next chapter of my fantasy world, Herezoth, after the initial trilogy I’ve written and set there. The basic concept? People are disappearing from Herezoth’s fishing villages, and it turns out slave traders from enemy kingdom Esclavay might be to blame. But how much help do they have from the citizens of Herezoth? What role are Herezothan smugglers playing? Can sorcerer Zate Polve unravel the plot in time to save its victims?
While I have some doubts and fears, I’m also really excited, and here’s why:
- A MILESTONE IN MY WRITING CAREER. While I definitely don’t feel like everyone has to do NaNoWriMo to be a genuine writer or something like that, when I heard about the challenge for the first time, I definitely felt that– in my personal case–it was something I could consider a rite of passage as I continue to develop as a writer and published author. It feels like the next step in my individual journey. Even if I don’t make my word count, I know I’ll be glad I tried. NaNo veterans: did you feel this way? If you’re a NaNo newbie, do you share this approach when it comes to yourself? I’m curious.
- I’LL LEARN TONS FROM THE EXPERIENCE. Regardless of success or failure, I think this is an opportunity for me to grow and develop a lot in a really short time as a writer. Even if I only hit 30,000 or 40,000 words, that amount of experience writing fiction in a month is nothing to sneeze at. I’d take it in a heartbeat, though of course I’m really hoping to hit my 50k! If I end up scrapping the WIP after, well, I don’t think trashing a work in progress is ever a waste.
- I’M HOPING TO USE IT AS AN EXPERIMENT. As I might have said before, NaNo is the perfect chance for me to try working with some kind of an outline–a new prospect for me–to see how that process is different from writing as a “pantser” and whether I like it. It’s also adds extra motivation for me to ignore my inner editor and NOT edit as I write my first draft. (See “Why editing and writing should be separate processes.”) How can you incorporate personal experiments into your NaNo attempt this year? Are you planning to do so? Please comment, and we can all share ideas.
FYI/SHAMLESS END-OF-BLOG PLUG: the first novel in my Herezoth trilogy, “The Crimson League,” will be free Monday through Wednesday on amazon.com in e-book format! If you’re interested you can check it out here.