Saturday, October 14, 2006

National Novel Writing Month Is Upon Us

Okay, so if you figure you get approximately 600 words to a page (on my Word program), writing 3 pages each day will yield 1,800 words. Multiply that by 30 days and you’ve got 54,000 words, enough to snag a win from the National Novel Writing Month organization. The criteria is simple. You sign up. You begin writing your novel (or book) on November 1st and stop writing on November 30th. In between you can call upon the support of an incredible group of writers for support. To qualify for a “win” you need to write 50,000 words. They suggest writing a hundred extra just because of the differences between word counting programs.

I’d heard about NaNoWriMo 2 years ago. I forgot about it last year until it was too late. But, day before yesterday I stumbled upon somebody who was going to participate this year. Me too. And, last night I signed up.

I’m not a schooled writer, other than making my way through high school and a year of college where I partied until I flunked out. But, I love writing. I love reading. The grammar I know is by the seat of my pants, which means I know some of the basic rules, but other than that it is by ear. Mostly, I break a lot of rules. I used to worry about it. Now, I don’t. Not much anyway.

So, as I lay in bed last night thinking about what to write about (always the hardest thing in the world for me to decide upon) my guide Seth suggested that I channel a book. I got this thrill of delight that shot up my spine. I knew from the sensation that was the perfect answer. I’d love to write a novel, but a channeled book would be more appropriate at this time. Right away I thought, “Oh, no. I couldn’t. That’s not writing. That’s channeling.” But, one of the things about channeling is you need the skills of writing to do it. And, though I could sit here and channel it takes a tremendous determination to let go for long enough for the guides to get the material out. Especially when the channel ain’t willing to sit still long enough to get anything productive done.

So, this would be the commitment I make to myself and to them. That I will sit still and channel here at the keyboard for the 3 pages a day during the month of November that it takes to create a work that is 50,000 words long. That’ll be a decent book, I think. And, seeing as how I’ve got another one sitting in the wings waiting to be finished up -- well, that’s just icing on the cake.

The book under the bed that took me 3 years to write on my own is about 175,000 words. I remember how I gauged how long it should be. I picked up a paperback book and said, “That’s the size of book I want to write.” Then, I counted the number of words there were in a sampling of lines in the book and averaged them. Then, I did the same with a number of the pages. That’s how I knew how many words to write.

Then, I did what I’ve since learned is called the snowflake method. My version of it was that I started with the kernel of my story. Then, I wrote a paragraph. Then, I expanded that paragraph. I kept expanding until I had 10 paragraphs. Those became my chapters. And, interestingly enough, they stayed that way throughout the course of writing the book.

So, I see that I’ve come to the end of my page. And, that would be a total of 619 words so far.

What I need to do now is to crank up the olde channeling muscles and start getting used to sitting still for heavy duty channeling again. It won’t be for the book, but just channeling in general which can be either for the blog or for private papers. Just to get me in shape for next month.

As time goes on I might decide to have a different blog just for the book. That might be helpful. I’m getting a “thumb’s up” from the guides, so I’ll mull that over this morning. Also, a title. Need to come up with that too. Could always change it as time goes by, but I’ll want something to call it for now.


christine said...

i'd never heard of novel writing month, but now that i know about it, i think i'm going to do it. thanks!

Anonymous said...

That is great! Hey do you mean your novel is 175000 words or pages!? as you say. I guess if it is 175000 pages you don't need a bed--your novel IS your bed.

Lovely thought...


Lady Skye Fyre said...

Yikes...that's words...not pages! I'll go fix it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I hope do dig into Nano. Two years ago I discovered it but way to late to do anything about it; I think I signed up that year on 11/26. Last year I started off with a bang, but family priorities over-ruled and I didn't finish. But based on how I was doing, I have no doubt that I can do this. This year, I'm more planned and ready, and chomping at the bit to get going.

Stop by again sometime or ping me at Nano!!