It’s official: I’m participating in NaNoWriMo 2016.
I can almost hear the groans of my family and friends as they realize that my normal writing-related chatter will increase twenty-fold until the first week of December.
For those of you who don’t know or haven’t had the pleasure of listening to me rave about it, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month where millions of people worldwide come together (virtually) for the month of November to write a novel in 30 days. The minimum goal is 50k words to be considered a “winner”. Is there a prize? Not really, although many retailers get in on the action and give you discounts to awesome book/writing/reading related stuff (Scrivener discount anyone?) The prize is the satisfaction of writing and completing a freakin’ book, it’s bragging rights, it’s learning to dump the edit-as-you-write habit, it’s making friends.
But you do get a nifty digital “badge” or icon to announce your accomplishment to the world. So there is that.
Will you have a publishable gem after November ends? Nope. Big ol’ giant bowl of nope, so wipe that thought out of your head. But you are one giant leap closer. I published my first NaNoWriMo project (my second novel, Deceived) in April of 2016. It might have taken me 2 1/2 years after NaNoWriMo to publish it, but I did it! My breakdown:
2013 NaNoWriMo – Deceived (Burned Book 2)
2014 NaNoWriMo – Exposed (Burned Book 3)
2015 NaNoWriMo – Divided (Burned Book 4)
And for my 2016 NaNoWriMo project, *drum roll*…. I’ll be completing my Burned series with Escaped (Burned Prequel).
This year is a little different – Escaped started out as the prologue in Burned before I pulled it, eviscerated it like the unnecessary pile of crap that it was. I’ve added to it through the years in order to to get a better picture my characters and their backstories. This is technically not acceptable, but I’ll be tossing all of the original material and rewriting everything from a blank page (using the plot, setting, and characters, however), so I’m good to go.
That said, I have a lot of mixed feelings about NaNoWriMo 2016. Of course, I’m excited because NaNoWriMo is awesome and I love participating. The writing community is awesome and it is the one place I truly feel like I fit, where the people speak my language. I also love the Burned universe (obviously, because this will be my 6th return – there’s also a related short story, Granted, published in the Ancient Enemies anthology) so I’m excited to immerse myself again. Not that I really ever stopped because I’m simultaneously revising Exposed & Divided and have been since Deceived came out in April.
I’m also sad because Escaped will be my last book in the Burned universe (minus any short stories or bonus scenes). That makes this year bittersweet. It was difficult to end the series last year with Divided. There were deaths, and I’ll admit to shedding some tears. But I knew the prequel was still laying around in an unfinished nasty mess and I’d be tackling it down the road. But this, this is The End.
I’m a little anxious about finishing this year, although – hello anxiety – I am every year. I hate to fail. Hate it. Hate. This is my first time doing NaNoWriMo while working a full-time job. I’ve worked almost full-time, but never the whole enchilada. Plus I have 3 kids, one of which is a toddler (lord help me) and the eldest is involved in two sports (how did that happen?) so I’m feeling a bit more frazzled than usual. I just keep reminding myself that I did my FIRST NaNoWriMo (2013) with an infant, my 4 and 7-year-olds, and working… and still won. So…
What about you? Have you done NaNoWriMo? Like it, love it, hate it? Always wanted to do it but never took the plunge?
Follow me here, on Twitter, or like my page on Facebook to keep up to date on this year’s NaNoWriMo journey. Or join me on the NaNoWriMo site! The forums are helpful and filled with people just like us – weirdos who write what the voices in our heads tell us to.