I think I’m going to try to take on NaNoWriMo this year — the National Novel Writing Month.
It’s a challenge for writers to write a 50,000+ word first draft of a novel over the course of November.
50,000 words is about 150 pages in 30 days, which amounts to about 5 pages a day, which is about what I’ll generally write in an evening.
Have I written at that pace for 30+ days before? Yes, definitely. I wrote my first novel over 2-3 month-long spurts over the course of a year or so, and that was 115,000 words.
That said, part of NaNoWriMo is having a complete first draft — not just 50,000 words. Most novels are considerably longer than that, especially those aimed at adult audiences or young adult. If I write Adult or YA Sci Fi/Fantasy, that’s closer to 300 pages in 30 days, or 10 pages a day — YA a little less, adult a little more.
I’m not sure I like my chances of sustaining 10 pages a day over 30 days, so I’m leaning toward writing something for a younger audience.
NaNoWriMo will create another big challenge, though — getting ready for it.
- I have 4 submission deadlines I’ve written drafts for, that I need to finish up and send out between the end of October and the end of the year. Some of these will be more work than others, but most will require at least a few evenings.
- I have another story with I’ve started a draft for that isn’t finished yet. That one’s not due until the end of the year, but I don’t want to go into December exhausted from NaNoWriMo without a finished first draft.
- Then, after all that’s done, I’ll have to invest serious and quick effort into getting ready for NaNoWriMo, creating my characters and at least some kind of outline for the plot. Writing 50,000+ words is one thing, but writing it without having at least some basic understanding of my characters and plots is another, and potentially a big waste of time.
So, there’s a lot to do and a lot to think about, but I’m excited about the challenge. If I can get a firm idea down, I think I can get it done without real life getting in the way.
If you’re taking on NaNoWriMo, feel free to say hello and add me as a buddy.