Friday, October 23, 2009

30 Days Hath November

Gabriella Edwards asked me, "Did I miss a blog entry?"

No, Gabriella. No, you didn't.

After chunking out my most recent novel draft, I did a leisurely bit of editing, submitted my RWA PRO materials (and--drumroll, please!--my pin is on its way) and took a vacation. A real vacation with grown-ups and hotels and bars and boat tours and art museums.

What I did not do is write. I deliberately chose not to draft diddly for the entire month of October as part of the Let-Your-Puir-Wee-Brain-Rest-Before-NaNo Plan.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a decade-old grassroots movement wherein participants are challenged to write 50,000 words (a novella) in November. Last year I participated and wrote 100,041 words. In the ensuing 12 months, I've been revising and polishing the heck out of that draft (and learning, on the way, more and more efficient ways of revising so that it will no longer take me a year to do so).

This year, unlike last year, I'm going in ice cold. I have a few images in my brain. I have words that intrigue me ("tortuosity" is a new favorite). I have no plot, no premise, no central character, no location (except I think I'll be trying my hand at world-building). I've got bupkis.

I'm going to write 100,000 words (a full-length novel) out of that ever-so-promising beginning.

At last month's OVRWA meeting, Jenny Crusie (who also plans to do NaNo this year) said, "The novel exists already in your subconscious." Boy howdy, do I hope she is correct.

If you're joining the party, buddy me: keristevens.


  1. Kudos to you for doing NaNo. This will be my third year. The first year, I wrote 110,000 words, polished it, submitted it, got some good encouragement on it, but couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. Finally saw it: it was three stories in one! So am re-writing accordingly.

    This year will be my first time writing something entirely made up in my head. I usually write historical fiction based on actual people but this year is different. I am ready, but unnerved. Never done such before, so am interested to see what pukes up... umm... comes together. I'll buddy you; I am Summer1565.

    Happy for your vacay, BTW. I missed seeing your tweets but glad you had a good time!

  2. I think NaNo might be just perfect for trying something new, Summer. You're so busy puking . . . umm, writing that you simply must push through the fear. Gonna go buddy you back now!

  3. Hi Keri :)
    Thanks for the update post.
    I'm excited to do my first NaNo.
    All the best,

  4. RK,
    It is a total adrenaline rush! And since we all get to see our buddies' word counts on the NaNo website, we can keep each other's feet to the fire.

  5. So excited about NaNo. This'll be my first year. I'm hoping to write the second in a trilogy of romance novels. I don't think I'm brave enough to go in w/o any plotting done, so will be working on that in the next week! I follow you on Twitter - that's how I ended up here at your blog. I buddied you on NaNo. Hope you don't feel stalked... ; )

  6. P.S. If you're so inclined to buddy back on NaNo, my name there is mkdbail.

  7. Hmm. Apparently I was following your plan without realizing it. I did plenty of writing in Oct. but, as in Sept., virtually none of it was fiction. Hopefully I'll be able to change that trend in November.

  8. KERI!! I thought I missed one of your blogs too! I check your site to see if one is up and just saw it today!
    I have friended you on NaNo and I too am going in cold turkey! The first week I am off on a Jumpstart Master class to the beach with 20 writers so I hope to get alot accomplished then.
    We need to have NKY meet up during NaNo.

  9. Tonya, be sure to join the Kentucky:Elsewhere group. It's mainly NKYers and I think we are planning a meetup.

  10. Hey Keri - checked out your blog from your signature line. Your voice comes through excellent in your blog - good job! Oh - and congrats on the PRO status!! Whoot!

    I'm in NaNo this year too. Wishing you the best and I'll be sure to "buddy" you on there to cheer you on.

    Between a nine day vacation, four birthdays, a mother in law in the hospital with a broken hip on Nov 1st and a changed Thanksgiving now to go visit her - I'm not sure I can do my entire 100k MS like you've done - I'll be thrilled to make 50k!

  11. Hey, C.J. and R.K.

    Look at you two cooking right along with your word counts! Good job.

  12. I'll be able to change that trend in November.
    Work from home India