Thursday, November 10, 2011

Purrsonal Thursdays: Why I NaNoWriMo


I heard about NaNoWriMo from my friend and critique partner Christine Rains. My first thought was "50,000 words, no way, no how."

Then I started writing with publication in mind in 2009. I wrote my first novel (The Phoenix Prophetess) and it took nine months to write. I averaged a chapter a week. Until NaNoWriMo 2009, the most I wrote in one month was 28,000 words. But, that's half the goal of NaNoWriMo. I had an idea for a novel, so I thought, "What the heck." So I went into NaNo that year with an idea, a book description, and an outline. Virtuoso, a YA Paranormal, was completed in November 2009 during NaNoWriMo at around 68,000 words. To this date, it is still the most I've written in a month, but I'm on my way to topping that word count. *crosses fingers*

I loved participating in NaNoWriMo. I loved the community of it. People's expressions when I said I was going to write a novel in one month. I liked the competition. I wanted to win and push myself further than I had before. I had fun. Even though the novel is a mess right now, it was totally worth it.

So in 2010, I started planning in early October for Missing, an adult paranormal thriller. I had the idea and mulled over scenes even before October, but in October, I wrote a book description, outline, synopsis, character sketches, researched it, and did some world building. I came in prepared and wrote around 51,000 words in that novel. I haven't had a chance to revise it. It needs work. A POV cut out, more scenes, maybe a character cut completely depending on how I want to go with it. The idea for Missing branched out into my short story "Cassandra Project," which will eventually be the novella Confessions of a Telekinetic. I even have a loose idea of a YA Paranormal Thriller from it for another day.

Now we are in NaNoWriMo 2011. I started planning (in my head) for Starred. Scenes would crop up. I would daydream what would happen. I got my outline, description, character chart, even bought an eye patch for research purposes. Then The Last Prophetess slammed into my brain in late August. The two books were so different from each other. I pledged to do just the one. The other wouldn't give up. So I decided to write them both.

Why not? If I can write 68,000 words in one month, why not 100,000? If I can write one book, why not two? It's a challenge, but I need it. It may turn out as crap, but perhaps I need that too.

NaNoWriMo makes you let go. It's for fun. If I don't make it, it's no loss. I tried. I have a novel, or two, there to work with instead of a blank page. Best of all, I get to write.

That's why I NaNoWriMo.

11 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Best of luck! I wrote 200,000 words in 6 months once, but I've never attempted NaNo.

Brenda Drake said...

Well said! That's exactly why I do NaNo. It really challenges you to get the words down. Good luck! <3

Nicole Zoltack said...

You already know I love Nano! Normally I write 50K of a novel in November and then it just sits. I've finished 4 of the 6 nano novels I've finished, the other 2 I haven't touched since reaching 50K. One is the very first Nano story and that's just a hot mess. The other is sitting because I'm not sure what to do with it/how to fix it.

Elizabeth Twist said...

Good luck, Cherie! I am going for the double NaNo challenge (100k) too this year. My aim is to have a full manuscript of my novel, because I have the same experience as Nicole - I tend to feel finished with a project at the end of November, whether the draft is done or not. This year I thought I would try writing all the way to the end. Hope you update again throughout the month. I'd love to see how it's going for you.

C D Meetens said...

Challenging yourself is a great way to accomplish goals, but I really don't know if I could write 100,000 in a month! It's so amazing that you're going for two novels, and it looks like you're well on your way with "Starred".

tfwalsh said...

Loved your reasonings, they made total sense. Best of luck:)

Sarah Pearson said...

I love the way you've thought and planned this all out. You go!

Talli Roland said...

Good luck, Cherie! Very well said. Keep us posted!

kimmullican.com said...

I envy you. I was working 60+ hours a week and didn't think I would be able to participate this year...again.

But voila - hubby said quit your job and stay home and write. That was on Nov. 2 - so not a lot of planning time.

Good Luck Cherie!

Cherie Reich said...

tfwalsh - Thank you! And it's always good to know it made sense. :D

kimmullican - Thank you! That's awesome what your husband said. I have a full-time job (library assistant), but they're very supportive of my writing and as long as it doesn't get in the way of work, then I can write to my heart's content. :)

Christine Rains said...

You're doing so well. All your reasons are mine too. I love to challenge myself and I'm reminded again how much I love to write. I see you got some words done on TLP. Hehehe! I'm so eager to read it.

GO! GO! GO! *cheers*