November is National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo for short or sometimes just NaNo. Thousands of people commit to write 50,000 words in a month or an average of 1667 words a day. They virtually disappear from any other writing communities for the duration. November is a very slow month on most writers’ forums.
I have never done NaNoWriM0–and no, I’m not doing it this year either. I don’t feel I need to. I proved to myself a few years ago that I can, in fact, write a novel in that space of time if the story is ripe and ready to be written. BLOOD WILL TELL was actually the first novel that was like that for me. It’s a heady feeling when a story comes together that way and writing it feels like opening a spigot and just letting it flow out onto the page (or the screen). But the truth is not all novels flow like that. And, even when they do, when a story is ready to just pour out, you have to write it while it’s hot or risk losing it (been there, done that, too). Somehow, those times when the story is just ripe for the picking never seem to happen in November for me.
In any case, I’m pretty firmly stuck in revisionville this November. I’m working on the second drafts of both BLOOD IS THICKER (about 90% done) and THE BARD’S GIFT (about 33% done). I also have three short stories that need revisions–“Becoming Lioness”, “The Seeker”, and one I can’t tell you the title of because, if I ever get back to it and find a better ending, it may be my next Writers of the Future entry. That one could use some polish but what it really needs is a good ending that doesn’t feel like it just sort of fades off into the sunset.
I expect to go back to writing a first draft at the beginning of next year. I’ve got a few stories brewing in the back of my head to choose from. Will it be the story I already have outlined (and I never do outlines)? Or the shiny new idea that twists all kinds of fantasy staples around and sets them on their heads? Or the fairy-tale retelling? I’ll have to wait and see what’s calling to me when I get there.
So, to all my writer friends out there who are doing NaNo: good luck. And I look forward to hearing from you and reading some of your novels on the other side.