Friday 30 October 2015

I'm doing NaNoWriMo - who's with me?

Every November, there is an event. A huge, glorious event. They call it National Novel Writing Month - but this is an event that has long spilled past the borders of any nation, as writers from around the world surge towards the challenge. A simply-stated, impossibly-daunting challenge. Can you write a novel in a month?

I have a chequered history with the event. Put another way, I have failed every time I've tried. That final word count has proven hopelessly elusive. But - in another way I have succeeded. Each of the times I have tried it I have emerged with more written than I would have done without it. The seeds of the novel I hope to publish next year were first planted when I wrote 30,000 words in that first month of trying. 

Last year's event I swooshed and missed completely. I struggled to get the tone I wanted for that book - but I'm going to give it another shot this time. And the reason I'm doing that is precisely because it's in a tone that I don't normally lean towards, something more light-hearted, something more jolly.

There's magic loose in the White House and the President is a witch. President Juniper Arkwright is at your service, and her Air Force One is a broom. I give you... Hocus Potus. 

I'm going with an outline this time round - planning rather than pantsing - as I think that was what got me nowhere last year. Time to focus on the hocus and deliver the potus. Planning I'm doing with nothing more than a pen and paper. I'll share at some point if people ask. But what I'm doing now is issuing a rallying cry. Who's with me? Let's be one another's support. I'll keep updating here through the month and comments are welcome - but you can also keep up with me on Twitter through my @chippychatty handle. 

So how does doing NaNoWriMo help you? First, you sign in with your book at and you'll have access to forums full of advice and, here's the bit I found most useful, local group leaders who host gatherings where you come together to encourage one another on. When the typing gets tough, the tough get typing - but sometimes you need voices urging you on, not to give up, to tell us what happens in the next chapter. 

If you're on Twitter, then both @Nanowrimo and, perhaps more importantly, @Nanowordsprints are worth following - the latter having timed challenges to sit down and start writing. 

On the main website, you'll also find advice articles and tools to monitor your progress. In short, they're there to help. 

And hopefully, collectively, so can we be. Not me, not you, but us collectively, together. Let's do this.

You can follow my progress on the NaNo site here

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