Some people challenge themselves by training for a year and then run a marathon. Some may rebuild a car engine, learn a new language or start a small business. The reward is inherent in that challenge and in an effort to maintain my personal nerdiness, avoid undue strain on my knees and keep my hands from getting greasy, I’ve decided to write a book.
For the first time, this November I am going to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
For more than a decade, creatives and less so have committed to a month-long deadline to write a book of fiction. The goal: to write a minimum 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
It’s not so much about writing a book that will be an instant classic; published in dozens of languages or a shoe-in for the Nobel Prize. Characters, plots, settings and dialogue are all developed on the fly, often with minimal research. The result is a pretty raw first cut at the story we didn’t know we would or could write. The goal is creativity.
In an effort to maintain motivation, I’ve enlisted one of my best friends, Ken Lange, to help.
Since we were young, Ken and I have been active authors of one sort or another. Though the content has varied some from our elementary school days making comic books to our teenage years swapping mostly verbal, nonsensical short tales, the core has always been creating and telling the story.
I’ve challenged Ken to write a novel as well during the month of November. This friendly head-to-head serves as a mutual motivator in addition to reminding us how novel (pun intended) our stories used to be.
For now, I have a few inklings as to what might fill the pages. Perhaps a story of a habitually unsuccessful author who, after a number of attempts, begins to submit his unfinished manuscripts to publishers, only to find they are loved and now he has to write the rest of the story, but can’t seem to pick up where he left off.
In a similar thought, a once humongously successful writer, now a recluse, accidentally delves into the world of social media and is bombarded by fans demanding a follow-up from the long since uninspired man.
I’ve mused on re-workings of historical events and conspiracies, a devastatingly satirical look at the internet dating world or perhaps something about an unexpected road trip. Of course, there’s nothing quite like reading about someone riding in the car to really make you want to turn the pages.
But, like that road trip, I won’t know where it’ll take place or what will happen. I just know that I’ve got until November 30th to figure it out.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?
Let me know in the comments below.
I’ll try my darndest to keep you updated on my word count throughout the month.