I am now a three-time Nanowrimo winner, which may or may not be all that impressive since I’ve been trying this since somewhere around 2002. Nanowrimo is short for “National Novel Writing Month.” It’s a 30-day challenge in the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. The process is simple, you just write, write, write as long as words will fly off the end of your fingertips. Editing is not allowed, or more precisely, is discouraged simply because it will slow you down in your word count.
The main thing is to start writing, and keep writing. Sometimes your story goes off on a tangent and you end up at an entirely different place than you presumed to be going. Sometimes your characters misbehave, so you have to chastise them. Sometimes they won’t misbehave, so you have to invite over their friends who will.
I’ve done this in the hopes that someday I’ll actually have something worth submitting to a publisher and that so I can get that prized first rejection letter. The first one has to be the worst.
I don’t have that submittable project just yet, but I’m getting closer. My 2005 project probably remains my favorite. It was my first successful attempt. I’ve been through several rewrites and I was finally brave enough to pass it off to my beloved for her review. I’m still waiting. Like I said, the first one has to be the worst.
I finished again in 2009. That one was a political thriller with what I thought was an excellent plot. But the written result is pure garbage. Not only that, but I’m pretty sure it’s unintentionally plagiarized from a 1960s era movie.
2010 brought success again. Once again, I like the plot, but not necessarily what my characters did with it. Now that the holidays are behind us and I’m back to work, it’s time to edit. So, I took the step of printing it out and it now rests in a binder on my desk.
Let the editing begin.