Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is National Novel Writing Month

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? The goal is to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. If that sounds challenging, it is. It breaks down to 1,667 words/day over the course of 30 days. 

I have participated in NaNo since 2004, and I have been an ML (Municipal Liaison) since 2005. Being an ML is fun; it has all the glamour of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, plus the delight of organizing Kick-Off and TGIO (Thank God It's Over) parties and weekly Write-Ins. I schedule the Kick-Off party and Write-Ins within easy access of caffeine. The TGIO party has always been where adults have easy access to adult beverages if they so choose, as well as tasty snacks. 

I use the time to write a first draft of a WIP (Work in Progress). It's a great way for me to work out the kinks in a story I've been mulling over for some time, to see if it has legs on its own or if it needs beefing up. The process is also illuminating, in that when you are writing so fast, the internal editor really doesn't stand a chance of being heard; that's not a bad thing. Without NaNo, I am prone to polishing the first few chapters so they shine brightly, while the following chapters suffer from the lack of TLC.

I have also been surprised by what comes out when you're just in the flow, or writing zone. Your subconscious takes over and sends some good stuff out and onto the page. There is also, as in any first draft, a lot of crap that will be left by the wayside once the revision process begins.

By November 30, my butt and my mind are happy to have another task to look forward to: our annual Sausage Party, where we make - from scratch and by hand - Italian sausage. 

It's been said that sausage and law are two things you never want to see being made, and rightly so. How did I come to be so familiar with the former? That's a story for another day.

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