Countdown to “Last Night When it was Very Very Dark”

Tomorrow is the beginning for probably THE most crazy, stoooooooopid, insane, or (please use the adverb of your choice here) thing I’ve ever done. I’ll be posting the first 1675 words of my 50,000 word November novel. I only have a character and a situation so far, and my mind has been playing around with other situations that could crop up frnano_participant_icon_large.gifom the original situation, but little else except for a working title***. The one thing I like about what my mind has been stewing on so far is my character, I think her name will be Betty Jo (I know it’s a lame name subject to change), but I haven’t come up with further details, such as age, occupation, of that character yet, but I do know she’s a spunky gal beneath all the niceness. If I’ve learned one thing in writing over the years, it is that you need to know everything there is about your characters while you’re writing–even if you don’t use it in the story. That’s what will make them real. Even if the reader never learns that Chloe was abused by her drinking father, (no, that’s not a character in this book, I just made her up) the fact that it happened and you, the author know it, will let Chloe emerge in full as you write. It gives her motivation. I believe I know it can happen!

But writing is really, really hard work! When I woke up this morning a big part of me wanted to cop out of this experiment, and then I go and get an email from the “instigators” at NaNoWriMo today with this excerpt:

“. . . you’ll have guides in November who will take you right to it. These guides are also known as your characters. They’re kind of an abstract notion now, but you’ll meet them in all their glory in Week One of NaNoWriMo. They’ll be a strange lot. Insecure warlocks. Stamp-collecting squirrels. Teenage detectives. Whoever shows up, go with them. And go quickly. You may have a general sense of where you’re going together; you may not. It doesn’t matter. Just write your allotment of 1667 words (or more) on November 1. Don’t edit any of it. Editing is for December. Then come back and write another 1667 words the next day. And the next. And the next. By Week Two, you’ll be at the door. A few words later, you’ll be through it. You’ll know you’re there because the writing will feel different. Less like work, and more like watching a gloriously imperfect movie with cringe-worthy dialogue, heaps of confusing tangents, and moments of brilliance so delightful that you’ll want to scream. Once you’ve stepped through that door into the vast reaches of your imagination, you’ll be able to return there as often as you like. It’s an enchanted, intoxicating place, and there are other great things besides novels in there. . .”

Now I ask you, if you were already somewhat crazy (as I believe people who write in spite of the fact that (a) they are not real writers anyway, and (b) even if they only have a bat’s chance in hell of ever rising above the fray), would you be able to give up before you even start?! Me neither! That’s why I’m going for it.

And, with all my renewed confidence, look what I just did! (I uploaded that NaNoWriMo icon and managed to wrap the text around it! I’ve been wanting to learn how to do that for the longest time. Maybe in another year I’ll learn to put it in a sidebar where I wanted it in the first place!) Maybe it’s an omen! If I can do that, somthing that seemed impossible even a week ago, then maybe something will come of this November writing madness! Cross your fingers and wish me luck.

***The title for this post is the working title of the insane book.

4 thoughts on “Countdown to “Last Night When it was Very Very Dark”

  1. I’ll watch this with amusement and applause. I have vast difficulties writing even a few thousand words a day much less a whole novel in one month.

  2. I’d heard about this before and because I can’t write under pressure, I’ve never attempted it. My first published novel took about 9 months to write…so I’d be stressed to the max trying to complete it in thirty days.
    But I say BRAVO to you for trying this. Here’s wishing you all the best and most of all….have fun doing it. That’s what the passion of writing should be about.
    I’ll be back to check on ‘ya.

  3. I’ve got my first 3,070 words … only 46,930 to go. What kind of a crazy, cyber friend are you anyway, getting me all involved in this business? It’s crazy!

  4. You’re doing way better than me. If I can’t write a book, let me at least feel I had something to do with getting my cyber friend to complete one! (I’ll buy the first copy.) Keep writing!

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