Gearing up for NaNoWriMo

For the first time ever, I’m seriously considering giving NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) a shot. It starts on November 1 and runs 30 days, with the purpose being to write a novel (or at least the start of one) of 50,000 words (or more) in a month. According to the rules of NaNo, I am allowed to brainstorm, outline, and prepare my research ahead of time, but I can’t write a single word of my shiny new novel until November 1. And I’m supposed to start a new book, not revise an old one or write the second half of a work-in-progress.

It’s not like there are any prizes or awards, other than a cool badge to put on my website. And with such a crazy deadline, I certainly won’t be cranking out my best work. But I like the idea of writing 50,000 words in such a short time. No agonizing over edits (that comes in December) or worrying if my first chapter has a strong enough hook. Just writing.

Of course, I can think of a lot of reasons not to do this, including the fact that I am a control freak when it comes to Christmas, which means I start shopping in early November. I scour the web constantly for the best deals and obsess over Black Friday prices. Our family also travels to my in-laws’ house over the long Thanksgiving weekend and my mother-in-law might not appreciate it if I lock myself in the spare bedroom and ignore everyone, just to get my word count in!

But . . . I love the idea of just writing. After spending months preparing Piper Girl to submit to agents, I’m tired of stressing over my query letter and synopsis. I need to get back to the sheer joy of creating a fictional world. I love the wonderful feeling I get when an idea grabs hold of me and takes on a momentum of its own. Or when I get so immersed in my new characters that they constantly occupy my thoughts, even my dreams.  

I still need a concrete idea for a new young adult novel, although after meeting with one of my writer friends today, I feel more inspired. As we talked, I realized the hard part would be choosing from the many projects I’ve been thinking about. Some of the ideas I’ve been mulling over include another fairy tale re-telling, a historical adventure set in Revolutionary France, a humorous contemporary novel featuring a malevolent genie, and an epic fantasy with a maid-turned-spy.

So, I imagine I’ll spend this weekend figuring out what I want to write about. Once I do, bring on November!

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