Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I decided to try Nanowrimo for the first time. It’s an amazing online writers’ event, where you bang out a draft of a novel in 30 days. You have to reach 50,000 words to win. And there are multiple winners! What do you win, you ask? Um, not $$ or a trip to Paris. You win a certificate with a coat of arms inscribed with a coffee cup, a laptop, and stack of manuscript papers… and, well you get the drift. You gather together some writing buddies, and you can see their daily word counts, which can either send you into a panic, or inspire you, or drive you on—or a heady mix of all of it. No editing allowed!
That’s the hard part, and the greatest lesson. I always edit every chapter, or scene. Not to do so, feels like I'm an incorrigible nail-biter in mittens, or as if I'm resisting a big bowl of chocolate ice-cream sitting right in front me.
But there are perks. You get to create a fake book cover, like my clunky attempt at Photoshopped layers (above-working title). And there are write-ins every day in NYC, and probably lots of other places. I mean, this thing is global, folks! Nano is even in Africa, which is why the site is operating at the speed of tar advancing on a level pavement. But they promised to have the kinks ironed out asap. Besides, it prevents you from checking on your writing buds’ word counts too often.
So far, so good for me. I’m sure by day 20 I’ll have a backache. But hopefully, by day 28, if I keep up the word count, I won’t care about the backache, or the wonky eyes, or the fact that my house is getting messier and messier as I ignore everything around me.
Are you Nano-ing? Newbie like me, or old pro? What’s your experience with it this year?