It’s October again and for writers it’s a flurry of activity prepping for NANOWRIMO. (That is National Novel Writing Month for those that don’t know) it’s a challenge of writing 50,000 words during the month of November.
I’ve participated in previous years, even completing the task twice. I am up for the challenge again with a slight twist. This year I’m following along with Kaye Dacus in her #FirstDraft60 challenge adding it to my NANOWRIMO challenge.
You may ask what do you gain from this? There isn’t a prize awarded at the end of November. It’s a self challenge, no one will thrash you at the end besides your own self-consciousness. It’s a goal set to further your writing along and it is a frenzy. Come November, when you’re at your local coffee shop look for blazing laptops with signs of #amwriting or #NANOWRIMO, cheer on the authors behind those lap tops as they reach for their own personal goals.
As for today it’s all prep work. Visit Kaye Dacus as she describes the process here.
Day 1- Kaye’s Guided Questions…
1. Why do you want to write?
My first vivid memory of declaring I wanted to be a writer was at age 12. I think it began as early as age 9 during the 4th grade elementary school poetry unit. Haiku if I remember correctly. I just knew I wanted to tell stories. I loved reading them, I loved journeying into the imaginative worlds the authors created. I loved creating my own worlds and my own characters. While freelance writing is excellent, I want to dig up that dream of creating worlds and invite other people to visit them.
2. What will finishing this project in sixty days mean to you? Do you think that completing this challenge will change you? How?
While I have finished writing “novels” before during NANOWRIMO, they weren’t at the quality where I waned them to be. During the other 11 months of the year I have been studying writing craft to better my abilities. This 60 days is a continuation of that journey. I want to have a quality draft of my manuscript completed by Dec. 31st. That means 30 days of October for prep, 30 days of November for writing and editing in the month of December. What happens after that? Professional editor, cover design, formatting, publishing, marketing, distribution etc. That would change me personally from a published freelance writer to a published novelist.
3. If this is your first attempt at completing a manuscript, how do you think finishing it will impact your life?
OR, If you’ve completed multiple manuscripts, what will finishing another one mean to you?
This particular manuscript is for my daughters. They are my cheering squad. We were sitting for a coffee chat one day when my oldest daughter told me a premise. Of course youngest daughter added her two cents and voila the pictured started painting itself in my mind. While I’m the writer, they are the inspiration. They want to be the first beta readers, but have requested that I don’t tell them about it until I’ve completed the draft. They want to experience the “rabbit hole” without my author notes coloring their view. I can’t blame them, you only get that first reading once; that first thrill of unveiling the story page by page.
4. What will happen if the people closest to you don’t understand, support, and encourage you during this challenge?
I’m very lucky to have their support, however, I have committed to myself. Ultimately it is up to me to finish what I’ve started.
5. Imagine how you will feel on November 30 knowing that you’ve completed this challenge. How can you use that to motivate you during the next sixty days?
Elated and probably exhausted, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel.
6. What is the ONE thing you think you’re going to need the most to help you accomplish your goal for this challenge?
Funny enough, sleep will be most beneficial. When I get into story mode, my mind doesn’t rest. I’ll be working out plot points at the gym, doing dishes or other household chores, during meals etc. When it enters my dreaming sleep, the characters really come alive.
Today is prep day one, so I’m off to gather research and organize. If you are a NANOWRIMO writer, I encourage you to check out Kaye’s challenge. If you’re not a writer, but are interested in the behind the scenes of a novel, follow along for the ride.
#FirstDraft60 & #nanowrimo here we come…