Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Write a Novel in a Month - Can She Do It?

After a week of inner turmoil - isn't that what keeps us writers writing? - I'm starting to feel like I'm back on track with my writing. Along with various satellites losing their way and crashing back down to Earth with a bump, I certainly have acquired some bruising to my derriere, but as the old cliche goes 'the only way is up' and so, life moves swiftly on.
'Driftwood & Amethyst' is in the final stages of whatever it is they do in publisher land, and I wait tentatively for my author copies to drop through the letter box any day soon.
Short stories are keeping me busy - I'm entering a couple in to competitions in a bid to earn a little for my pains. Money is extremely tight, as many of us know, yet my hands are effectively tied when it comes to earning, so I need to do what little I can and keep sending off my articles and stories. Hopefully, as Driftwood & Amethyst' gains recognition (please, God!) my other work may then seem more interesting to numerous editors I contact.

MY NEXT PROJECT IS ....... (drumroll, please) ........ writing a novel in a month!

November is pitched as the month where writers, internationally, can register their details on a site called 'National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) and then work towards writing every day during the eleventh month of this very year!

As I'm already planning, plotting and scheming to write a novel, with the help of 'Your Writing Coach' and Louise Doughty's 'A Novel in a Year', I thought it may be quite an interesting challenge to set myself this seemingly impossible target. 'Driftwood' took me three years to write, but I was teaching full time back then. When I stopped teaching through illness, I spent a year tidying it up through a haze of morphine and was able to get it to the standard required for publication.

'National Novel Writing Month' occurs each November and has been a way for authors, published and aspiring, to give themselves a kick up the proverbial and complete the first draft of a novel. By no means does it suggest you will absolutely, definitely have a publishable novel by then, but you might! I know of e-book writers and even novella writers who can turn books out every few months. I doubt I'm quite that fabulous, and I do spend hours searching for the right word, phrase, paragraph, which of course illustrates why my first novel took three painstaking years to perfect my work.

However, by registering, and then submitting details of the novel when the month is up, the author achieves status on the site and publicity from them celebrating the fact that some semblance of a novel is complete. As I had planned to write a novel in a year, this is a tall order. But I have spent two months planning already, and I have October to prepare as much as I can. Imagine the Olympic sprinter in training? Well that's me at the lap top with coffee, cake, apples and cereal bars at the ready. Come November, I'll be off!

I do hope that by November 30th I will have a good first draft of my novel. I'll be writing it for 11-15 year olds, as my research indicates that's where my writing's heading. Well, all my writing requires research and planning so after entering two competitions today, I'll be researching and planning! Of late, this has taken the form of copious scrawlings in notebooks, word processing plans and paragraphs on a lap top and my old creaky computer in the study so this week I must try to organise myself and compile it all in to one place, save it at least twice (once on my magic memory stick of course a lesson learned from bitter experience)

Time to get planning - onwards and upwards - out of the dark and into the light.
Here's hoping :)