Friday, November 18, 2011


Ah... every November, NaNo fever strikes.

If you don't know, NaNo is short for NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, and it's a contest with the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. It's basically a challenge to write a category-length novel under pressure of a looming deadline. The prize? Bragging rights to anyone who will listen that you wrote a novel in 30 days or less. It's fun, it's crazy, and I look forward to it every year.

I think editors probably dread this time of year, however, because I wouldn't be surprised if they are inundated with NaNo novels (er, kind of redundant, I guess, but you know what I mean) every December, of which only a very small percentage would be even close to publishable. Some people can write fast and churn out good material, but I think it's safe to say that that is the exception rather than the rule.

I've been fortunate. Tiger Eyes began life as a NaNo draft. So did Devil in Disguise. And Stolen Promise. And this year's NaNo? It's a follow up to Stolen Promise and I think it will be quite good when it's polished (I'm working through first revisions now. This one won't be ready for quite a while, though.)

This year, I did it in 13 days, my average was 3500 words/day. I don't know for certain, but I think that's my personal best. I just got into the zone and the story told itself, which was nice. Other years, I've struggled but this year? Smooth sailing. It is just a rough draft, but I think it's a solid draft.

I love doing NaNo. Even when it's a struggle to get those 1667 words (the average needed to finish in the 30 days), when it's all said and done, I'm glad I did it. It's helped me power through writing blocks, it's given me the chance to write something different (Stolen Promise started out as a straight historical romance, then veered off into paranormal elements as well.) It's given me the excuse to just write and not worry about being perfect (at least until December, anyway.)

And now that I'm done for this year, it's time to go and sit and veg a little. Oh, and work on those revisions. :D


Grace Wen said...

Congratulations on winning NaNo!

Kim said...

Thanks. It took a LOT out of me. Now that the pressure's off, I'm just doing a wee bit of vegging. And revising. :D