On your marks …

The Nanowrimo site has been cleaned out, all sparkling and ready for this year’s extravaganza. I feel excited already and it’s still only September.

If you haven’t heard of Nano, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. If you join in you agree to start a new novel on November 1st and “complete” it by November 30th. To be complete it must have a beginning, middle and end, though not necessarily fully fleshed out, and must be at least 50,000 words. If you make it you’re a winner, though the thrill of accomplishment is the only prize.

The website has lots of tips and a great forum where you can find encouragement and inspiration (or someone to commiserate with when things aren’t going well). Pep talks from famous authors are emailed every week. You can also find writing buddies to compare wordcounts with and egg each other on.

Last year was my first attempt. I was about 98% certain that I wouldn’t make it, yet I managed it. I was so pleased with myself I took a photo of my screen, showing the wordcount over 50,000. I know, I’m tragic.

My only regret last year was that I didn’t write a fantasy novel. I had this “real world” idea that just wouldn’t go away and, since I never really expected to make it, I thought I’d just spend the month on it and get it out of my system. That would be the novel that I’m still revising, so that plan didn’t quite work out.

So this year it’s all-singing, all-dancing fantasy all the way. Magic – yes! People turned into animals – yes! Fairies and dragons and warriors with bad attitudes – yes! Quests with no toilet stops – yes, yes, yes!!! In short, all the great cliches of fantasy. I can hardly wait.

I’ve started planning my novel already (who said I couldn’t learn from my mistakes?). Haven’t broken it yet to the other half that I’m doing it again. He was very supportive last year – even made the ultimate sacrifice and took the kids to a teenage mutant ninja turtles movie while we were on a weekend away so I could have time to write. I think he will be quietly horrified to find that he has to live through it all again this year.

Anybody else planning to take it on?

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