In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Monday, 4 November 2013

NaNoWriMo: The Story So Far

  NaNoWriMo has begun, and you know what? It's going pretty well.

  A reminder for those who don't know - NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The aim is to write a full novel of at least 50,000 words in November. Have a look at my last blog for details.

  This is day 4, and I've done just over 15,000 words. In four days! OK, in a way it's a bit of a cheat, because I spent October plotting everything out to the last detail, at least for the first several chapters. I even had snatches of narrative written, so all I actually had to do at first was stitch them together into a coherent sequence. I don't think I'll be able to maintain this pace throughout the month, and I'll have to do a lot of editing afterwards anyway.

  But you know, NaNo has actually got me writing with an intensity and focus I usually lack. Maybe it's the deadline, which is inexorable and very, very tough. Maybe too it's the community which gathers around the event. I'm talking to writers in a chatroom, I've been to a meeting at the library, and I'll soon join another at a coffee shop - where I may indulge in a cake. Or two. Put me near cake and all my good work in the gym tends to be wasted.

  But anyway, I'm really enjoying NaNoWriMo. There's always something new with this writing game, always another surprise. Hemingway said "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master", and he's right - though he was pretty close. And like apprentices, we're still learning the tricks of the trade. I doubted NaNo would work, it seemed too artificial and forced, but it's going well and I've met some good new people.

  Perhaps my next post will be full of why it's become so much harder, but if so that's OK. I've already got a lot out of this, and that'll do for now.