I have decided to do National Novel Writing Month once more. I successfully completed it in 2011 and 2012. The aim of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in November. My main reason for doing NaNoWriMo again is to motivate myself. Apart from the actual month, I know from previous years that my writing output is greater in the months after NaNoWriMo.
What Will I Write?
I intend to resurrect one of the novels I started writing during my masters. One is a young adult novel, Branded. I wrote the first two chapters of it for a Writing for Young Adults subject. It is a different take on alien abduction, more about the actual abduction and trying to escape, than the aftermath. The other manuscript is based on a short story I submitted during the course called Me, Arizona and the Spike. The story is about the transition of humanity during the technological singularity. I started to expand that short story into a novel during a vacation break in my masters, writing the first 10,000 words.
Until I started writing this blog post I was committed to the technology singularity novel. But having just remembered how enthusiastically the lecturer responded to Branded, I am seriously considering returning to it. It does have a lot clearer, at least in my head, journey to travel, than the adult novel. I have no idea where Me, Arizona and the Spike will go, let alone finish.
Critics of NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo has its critics. They say it is just about quantity and not quality, which is true, but that is where editing and redrafting comes in. And they say that 50,000 words does not make a novel. The typical adult novel is over 80,000 words. But young adult novels can be around 50,000 words. Another reason to choose to write Branded (but from previous experience it will probably run well over 100,000 words).
The novel I started in the 2011 NaNoWriMo ended up at over 200,000 words. One of my NaNoWriMo buddies plans to write a number of short stories and articles for his 50,000 words. So there is no need to be pedantic about writing a 50,000 word novel.
Many NaNoWriMo Novels Published
I was curious how many works from NaNoWriMo writers have been published. On the NaNoWriMo site there is a list of over two hundred authors whose NaNo novel found a traditional publisher. So it can be done. One of those authors is Hugh Howey, who wrote some of his phenomenally successful novel Wool one November.
As I finish this post, I am drifting towards writing the young adult novel. If I choose it, I might actually finish the first draft of a novel in November. That would be fantastic. It also has the advantage of being fantasy/science fiction so will involve little research as I can invent much of the world it is set in. I have found in previous NaNoWriMos that research can get in the way of writing 1666 words a day. But if that research is skipped it leads to doubts over potential plot holes.
You can join me by becoming my buddy.