In just four short days we will be in what has become known as National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, and this year I plan to participate!
According to their website, “National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.” The idea is that those participating begin a novel at 12:01 am on November 1st and work towards a 50 thousand word novel by 11:59 pm on November 30th. The idea began with a small group in 1999 and has grown into a world-wide event and non-profit organization. It has also lead to the publication of over 600 novels (both professionally and self-published), including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
NaNo doesn’t just promote adult writing, they’ve also created a Young Writer’s Program. YWP provides age-appropriate support as well as educational materials for teachers. There are workbooks for Elementary, Middle, and High School and lesson plans that are in line with national curriculum standards.
Overall, a very cool event, one designed to provide support and a friendly competitive atmosphere.
So, why am I writing about it? Well, firstly, because I plan on doing it this year– and properly! In the past, my goal has been to just write 50k (and to write every day in November), but not necessarily on a single project (I’ve done something similar with Camp NaNo, which is 30k in July). This year, I’m going to try to write a novel! And, I’ve heard that if you tell people you’re going to do something, you are more likely to actually do it– plus I’m putting my intention out into the universe….
Second, because it’s a great event. It promotes writing of any kind, including FanFiction. In the past my feelings towards FanFiction have been negative, but in recent years, I’ve come to see its benefits (especially when it’s better than the work it’s based on– DON’T ASK). Also, while competition can turn into something ugly, this event has you competing against yourself with resources and support from other writers trying to do the same thing you are. It promotes a community and competition that could easily turn toxic, but doesn’t. They keep it positive and supportive, with events all over the world where writers can get together and just write. It’s bringing together people who share a common passion and goal.
Third, because while my focus thus far has been on TV/Film, I do have a passion for written works and, especially, for adaptations. Adaptations are hard. People think it’s easy, but finding that balance between staying true to the original and not only keeping the pace up, but appealing to people new to the work. I can, and most likely eventually will, talk about adaptations at great length, but the point is, you never know what can come out of this event. I chose to reference Water for Elephants and Cinder because the first one has been adapted into a film, while the second is a personal favorite and one that has already been optioned. Any of the over 600 works could be something we’re talking about at length in the future. Also, I do eventually plan on writing about written works, novels, graphic novels, mangas… There is so much out there to spark creative and analytical thinking, to make you question the world around you!
So, this week’s post is a short one. I still intend to post every Saturday in November (and I will not be counting them as word count!), and probably should’ve saved this for then, but I wanted to provide an opportunity for participation. (And because it will make me stick to my goals.)
I’ll provide a final tally of my word count in my December 1st post. You can find more information about National Novel Writing Month at https://nanowrimo.org/.