Carol and I promise that we haven’t forgotten about the blog. Life has just been high maintenance recently, complete with moving, visits from friends, and working extra shifts as retail nears fourth quarter. But what I’ve been planning to write about has been lurking in the back of my mind all the while. Between another book review, writing about the correlation between writing and music, or the steadily approaching Nanowrimo, I’ve been pretty indecisive. I want to keep things fresh, so I wanted to veer away from another review for at least another post and my thoughts on music/writing are still forming into something organized. Due to my last post being about not overworking yourself into writing, I wanted to steer clear of Nanowrimo, which is sort of the exact opposite of my last post. But in the end, I feel that Nanowrimo might prove to be a fun challenge to some. So, my apologies for jumping from one end of the spectrum to the other.
If you’ve never heard of it, you’re probably wondering what Nanowrimo is.
It stands for National Novel Writing Month. It has a few events spaced across the year – Script Frenzy in April, Camp Nanowrimo twice in June and August, and Nanowrimo in November. Each event challenges writers everywhere to write a piece of fiction 50,000 words in one month.
No, my finger didn’t get stuck on the zero key. 50,000 words.
Thus the reason why I was hesitant to mention it. That’s a lot of words, especially to produce in thirty or so days. I went in with only two weeks of preparation, and while I was happy that I beat it, I never cashed in on the prize I wanted so badly because the story still wasn’t close to being ready. I want to tell people about it while they still have a little bit of time to prepare something if they’re interested, especially because the November prizes are pretty sweet.
I can’t say much for Script Frenzy because I honestly haven’t looked much into it. But Nanowrimo in November is so far the only event to reward you with a paperback version of your book if you’re able to get 50,000 words down before the month is up.
For the few years that I’ve known about it, Nanowrimo and CreateSpace have been awesome enough to award the winners of Nano a free paperback copy of their finished product. After you complete the challenge and verify with Nano, they give you until June to take your first draft and tweak and polish it to perfection and find a cover. Once you’re ready, put the code Nano gives you in the CreateSpace website and you’re all set to go.
In the past you weren’t supposed to sell that copy (and if it’s the only one why would you want to?), but I’ve been glancing through the articles and it seems like they’ve decided to be even more giving. Last year they gave five free copies and advice on self publishing. So far, I’ve been unable to confirm what this year will be like, but I’m sure posts will appear on their website the closer to the date we get.
For anyone who has a novel or a super long fiction piece they’ve mapped out but haven’t actually started on, this might be the time for that story to shine. If this year won’t work for you or you’re simply not interested, I would suggest swinging by the site around that time of year just because it’s so much fun to talk to a bunch of writers all gathered and active at once. People can exchange information like tools that help them write. It was in the forums there that I found out about Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die site; I’m a person who is all about trying to beat timed goals and so it’s perfect for breaking me out of writer’s block and getting first drafts done.
For more solid, official information: nanowrimo.org will be where you want to go.
For “putting the ‘prod’ in productivity,” check out writeordie.com for a little tough love.
November is about three months away. It’s a nice chunk of time to get the mental ball rolling, if nothing else. Whether you participate or not, keep calm and keep writing!
[Image Credit: Geograph (by NZ5048)]