Time To Start Plotting
October 19, 2010
Every year around this time, you can see people in sort of a daze. Not everyone mind you, just a few rather disheveled types wandering around chewing their lips and looking off into space as if they were thinking about the nature of the universe.
Well, they are. You see these people are writers, and they are spending these last two weeks of October thinking of the novel they are going to write from start to finish during the month of November.
November has been National Novel Writing Month (called "Nanowrimo" by insiders) for over ten years. During this month, participants strive to create 50,000 words of new fiction in a scant 30 days. How much is 50,000 words? It's a decent but not huge book. It’s similiar to Catcher in the Rye or The Great Gatsby, plenty of time to tell a good story, but not so much that you get overwhelmed.
Maybe you think it's ridiculous. A whole book in 30 days? There's no way it could ever be completed, let alone published. Well, I have a response for you. Have you heard of Sara Gruen? Maybe you've heard of her bestseller Water for Elephants, soon to be a feature film? Have you heard of Ape House, her current bestseller? Good! She wrote both of these titles in one month each for National Novel Writing Month. So there!
Nanowrimo is a terrific opportunity to let loose your creative self, and just write as much as you want to. Have a look at the Nanowrimo website to see how the event originated, and how liberating it is. If you're age 18 or younger, have a look at the Young Writers Program. If (ahem, when) the whole ridiculous notion grabs ahold of you, and you decide to join in, check out the MCPL website for Write-Ins at the Lee's Summit and Boardwalk branches. These are times to gather with other writers and kick out some serious word count. I'm not saying the Write-Ins help, but last year everyone who came to them here at Boardwalk reached their 50,000 words. Just saying...