Thursday, October 22, 2009

NaNoWriMo by Taffy Lovell

I think I first saw the NaNo on a writers blog. I really wanted to find my 'voice' so I took a look at the NaNo site.

The idea is to start from scratch on November 1st and cross the finish line (Nov 30) with 50K or more an just WRITE. By forcing a month deadline on yourself and writing furiously you give yourself permission to make mistakes and not correct them. It's all about QUANTITY not QUALITY (I took that statement from their site). At the end of the month, copy your story into their counter and watch the numbers zoom! If you have 50,000 word, you get to put a widget on your blog that says you participated and won.

I signed up. I thought it wouldn't hurt to try. Somewhere on NaNo site I took the advice to let my brain disengage and let my fingers type and that is what I did. My first few pages were garbage as I tried to relax and let my 'writer' take over. Suddenly, it was time for bed and I had typed 10 pages! I reread the story and to my surprise I had a protagonist, antagonist, conflict and several plot lines! I looked forward to the time at night I could type and type. At this point I didn't care if I made 50K because I had a new story.

Well, I did make 50k+ and was thrilled that I had a story. And a story that I had no idea was inside me or sent to my writer. Ali is a young African girl in a small African village. Marriages in the village are laxly arranged. But when the old medicine man in the village starts telling the young girls they must marry him, Ali's mother sends her away. Now, Ali is grown and has come back to her dying village. Can she make a difference? Can she right old wrongs? Can she forgive and move on?

Someday in the near future I am going to edit that story and submit it.
Last year, NaNo offered a code to all who had 50K to print a copy of their book for FREE. And if you wanted to, you could print more (for a fee) to pass out for family and friends. Um, Christmas is coming up..

The pros:
I had a child still at home when I was writing my NaNo story I literally took my computer to bed with me. I typed on my laptop while my husband watched sports or news. And I didn't really have a schedule of when I worked on my story so sometimes it took away time from my family. The last few days of November I really pumped out words and I got a little stressed which is stupid because it's not like anyone will care. Except me...

Some people have a story they want to get off the ground and use NaNo to jump start it. I think that is great. The thought had never occured to me to take one of my outlines and beef it up. But I really liked the freedom of just letting my writer go. Some might get stressed about having no direction but I think this is a great way to loosen the cobwebs or writers block.

by Taffy Lovell


Yamile said...

Your story sounds amazing Taffy. I hope to be able to read it someday.

Kiirsi said...

It DOES sound amazing! Thanks for sharing your inspirational month!

Cathy Witbeck said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. NANO WRIMO is really a creative kick.