Friday, 2 December 2011
Writing instead of walking
I've spent the month of November carrying this notebook and pen pretty much everywhere with me. I've been taking part in NaNoWriMo - the National Novel Writing Month - the point of which is to write a complete new novel of at least 50,000 words during the month. Obviously that means a first draft, not something of publishable quality.
It's been interesting. Some days it was really easy to hit the average 1,667 words needed, on others I tried, but missed that target, on still more I didn't even try because something more interesting had been happeneing.
What I can say now is that I have written a novel?
This is something that I have tried to do before. I have the first third, or maybe half of a novel that I tried to write after my creative writing course in 2009. It stalled on a difficult scene and stayed stalled because I had no real incentive to go on. I also have the opening of two or three other things that I've wanted to do none of which have made past the first few pages, or have expanded beyong the initial short story. Why? No real incentive to go on.
So, when I saw this challenge to write a novel in a month, a whopping 50,000 words, I went for it.
And it worked. The novel is finished. I expect it will get much bigger in the second draft and then smaller again as I tidy it up - I'll be aiming for something around the 80,000 word mark, the traditional 300 page target - I really don't agree with the whole 700 page novel nonsense - a book should be 300 pages, a song 3 minutes, a movie 90 minutes.
There can be exceptions to this rule of course - but I'm not exceptional. My book will be 300 pages, like the songs I used to write were 3 minutes and if I ever make a movies it will be 90 minutes.
Oh - and did I actually make the 50,000?