I never heard about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, until earlier this year. My friend mentioned it when I talked with him about the upcoming NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition. Since I’m trying to develop my prose, I gave it a look. The history of this non-profit slapped me in the face. NaNoWriMo was founded back in 1999 with a simple idea. It challenged authors to write 50,000 words of a book during the month of November. The premise seems easy enough, but when you factor in that people have lives and other responsibilities, it can be a daunting goal. Since the non-profit’s inception, NaNoWriMo has evolved and grown. Besides the main event, they now have other programs offering new events, such as Camp NaNoWriMo.
With my curiosity peaked, I signed up for an account and discovered that the camp’s start date was fast approaching. So I looked through my projects and selected a draft to use. For the camp, I chose Hero Call, an Urban Fantasy, and spent the entire month of July working on it and somehow hit my rather lofty target of 85,000 words. I even squeezed in my Patreon and Wattpad flash fiction stories. The camp ran during the summer, which meant my daughter didn’t have school or other activities. That lack of scheduled activities gave me a little more time to get an extra bit of writing done. Unfortunately, NanoWriMo takes place in November. Couple school being in session and an uptick in her activities, I may have trouble hitting my goal and all the other work I’ve been doing for the last few months.
During the camp, I quickly discovered how much fun this challenge is. It has nothing to do with winning, although that’s a bonus. No, the real reason is because it encourages writers to write. Writing is the only way authors develop their skills. They can take classes and learn techniques, but if you never put pen to paper, so to speak, then you’ll never improve. Write, write, and write. When you think you’ve written enough write even more.
NaNoWriMo started a week ago and I’ve been spending most of my free time working on my rough draft for Survival. It’s a science fiction novel that takes place on a generational ship so large that it has three cities. The main character, an investigative reporter, is trying to find the answers that connect a list of people who have disappeared. Daniel Cory, the intrepid journalist, armed with his wits, the anonymous file containing the dossiers on the missing citizens and the backing of his studio will uncover more than he ever bargained for.
I had nothing prepared for this book except for an overview and a prepped Scrivener binder. But from November 1st to the sixth I’ve written a little over 11,500 words for Survival. That’s a rough average of 1920 per day. If I keep that pace I’ll be able to win NaNoWriMo 2019. That said I might be forced to abandon some of my other writing for the month, specifically some Wattpad flash fiction stories. It’s not ideal, but it is the reality that I find myself in. Especially since I need to hit the NaNoWriMo goal and finish updating Harrison & Sylvia Part 11.
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get a chunk of work done this Veteran’s Day. Who knows? I might get lucky and squeeze everything into the month. Monitor my social media to see how this November pans out and happy reading.