Tomorrow I start writing a novel. And thirty days later I will hopefully have finished. At least that’s the plan, because November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, or just plain NaNo. And the idea is to write 50 000 words in a month.
The point is quantity and not quality, so I have to get my inner editor into a straight jacket and stop worrying too much about whether things make sense or not. Or otherwise important aspects like whether characters have depth and are believable, or encourage you to empathise with them.
There is another challenge. I don’t really have a plot. I’ve got a few characters, and a few key events and plot twists. But can you really have a plot twist if you haven’t got a plot in the first place?
Perhaps the biggest problem though is that I’ve never written a substantial work of fiction before. I’ve written academic theses, I’ve even got 30 000 words of a non-fiction book stashed somewhere in my computer, but I’m reckoning the last piece of creative writing I did was when I was back at school. And they were called stories back then.
I found an old school exercise book at my parent’s house and I had a habit when I was seven of writing these wonderfully repetitive stories each Monday morning in which I would describe my weekend and go into an unnecessary amount of detail of the number of peas that I ate. Hopefully this attempt will be better than that.
The bones of the next months are this: I will aim to write 2 000 words a day, a bit more than needed but I’m sure I’ll need the slack. I’m not going to kill myself, so if it all goes wrong, then I’ll bail. But I want to have some fun, I’ll go along to a write in or two, I may even try and organise one for anyone else out there doing it.
One other thing, I’m going to blog it as I go. So for the next month that’s pretty much all you’re going to see here at Broken Cameras, no relationship advice, no open letters to the girls and the guys. No slightly strange pieces about the pace of our lives.
Except the novel will include relationships, and maybe just a little poking of fun at the dysfunctional Christian dating scene, as well as just about every other part of the Christian world which I find amusing. So you can’t get away from it altogether.
To make this abundantly clear, this is a work of fiction, none of the characters are based on anyone I know. Of course my imagination comes from somewhere, but where I’ve taken particular character traits from real life I’m going out of my way to give them to completely different people. There are one or two anecdotes that simply have to make it into the novel, but rest assured, if the anecdote belongs to you, the character is not you. It’s also not autobiographical; I toyed with writing myself into one of the lead roles, but not only would that make me a Nanowrimo Rebel, but it would mean I could do less with the character without people asking all sorts of questions about what was true and what was not. Because my life is not interesting enough on its own.
I hope you enjoy, the novel doesn’t have a title yet, hopefully inspiration will strike.