What is NaNoWriMo?
If you’ve been around the writing community for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo and at least have a bit of an idea about what it is. In case you (somehow) haven’t, or you’re brand new to this online world like I was this time last year, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an “annual, internet-based creating project” where “participants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30” (thanks Wikipedia). If I’ve got my facts right, 2018 is the 20th iteration of this event.
Why the timing sucks (for me)
I first heard about NaNoWriMo ~14 months ago and have been intrigued by the idea ever since. While writing 50,000 words in one month sounds like a daunting target, it’s definitely achievable when a large chunk of the writing community is around you and if you’re motivated about your writing. Which I am. There’s one key problem: the timing of NaNoWriMo kinda sucks for those of us Down Under.
If you’re an Australian student like me, November is EXAM MONTH!! Now, I am absolutely not opposed to some good procrastination. In fact, I’ve procrastinated a hell of a lot this semester…which has probably exacerbated this little problem where exams are rapidly approaching and I kinda need to start studying. For the next few weeks I’m going to have my head stuck in the books (and not the good kind), and after the October I’ve had I just don’t have the mental energy to start a new project from scratch.
My goal for NaNoWriMo 2018
However. I’ve been waiting, like, a good year now to participate in NaNoWriMo, so I’ve decided to adjust the rules a little to suit me and my situation. I’m currently deeply entrenched in two very different WIPs, and don’t want to launch into an entirely new project right now. Besides, given I’m an avid planner when it comes to writing and can’t seem to pants it to save myself, I don’t have sufficiently fleshed-out new idea to use it for this upcoming challenge.
Therefore, I have decided that my goal for NaNoWriMo 2018 is to finish the third draft of my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky.
Here are the reasons why I think this is the perfect goal for me:
I have written approximately 40,000 words of my 85,000 word target for this draft. I therefore have 45,000 words left to write.
All the planning is done and I know what is going to happen. There’s no need for pantsing!
Writing the third draft is a whole lot less exhausting than writing a first draft, so my weary mind should be able to handle it while simultaneously studying for exams.
I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want this draft to be finished by the end of the year!! Even if I don’t finish it during NaNoWriMo, I’ll be close enough to finish in December.
I love the concept of NaNoWriMo and am really excited about participating in my own, unique way. Of course, throughout the month I will continue the world-building for my fantasy project Graceborn with the hopes of starting the second draft of the first installment, Blood of Old, sometime in December. So I’ll definitely be keeping busy, and look forward to chatting with you all about your own goals and targets 🙂
“The weight of the sky—of the whole world—was pushing down, and it was crushing me.”
Carter Cantwell seems to have it all: brains, athleticism, musical talent, and a winning personality to boot. But he’s gotten good at pretending. No one sees through his façade, to the real him, buried deep inside.
Then Carter meets Remy. And that’s when it all starts to fall apart.
Read the first chapter of Holding Up the Sky here.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo 2018? What are your goals and targets? Have you had to create your own unique rules?