When I was sixteen years old, I signed up for NaNoWriMo and wrote about two thousand words of a vampire thing. The following year I wanted to have another crack, but my Year 12 exams were around the same time, followed by Schoolies Week (the week Australian high school graduates descend on the nearest holiday town and unleash unsupervised, alcohol fuelled hell). Then there were five years of university, where I usually signed up for NaNo but then never followed through for whatever excuse was most convenient. And then I got a real job working full time in the Neighbours office, where the end of the year was too ridiculously busy to even contemplate cramming 50k words in on the side. And then I forgot about NaNo for two years, and remembered it again last year, while I was working on edits for my first real, actual, completed novel. Since I was so focused on that novel, I didn’t want to start anything new.
But THIS year.
THIS year, I’m doing it. I’ve been working on a YA scifi as most of you who read this blog or follow me on twitter will know, so I wasn’t planning on participating. But this week I looked at what I’d written of the first draft across three word documents (my brain is not very streamlined) and realised the story was wandering off in a wrong direction, the protagonist wasn’t compelling enough as she was, and that the second protagonist I’d been planning to introduce in book 2 needed to be in book 1 to balance the story and add to the overall stakes.
So while all those words I’ve already written are very useful in terms of world building and getting to know some characters and the overall thrust and shape of the story (no written words are ever wasted), they need to be scrapped and rewritten.
And, as fate would have it, November is right there. So I figure I may as well make this the year I give NaNoWriMo a proper crack with a proper novel I was going to write anyway. The final novel will be longer than 50k (The Edge of the Woods was 64k and I’d like to see if I can make it to at least 70k with this one), but I write quite slowly (seriously, its going to be embarrassing) so if I can get that much done in a month I’ll be very proud of myself.
So here you have it. I am a NaNoWriMo 2014 participant. My username is Cei if you’d like to be a writing buddy or follow my progress (I’ll also be posting weekly roundups here and daily counts on twitter) and feel free to shame me until I post that beautiful 50,000.