I hadn’t intended on participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. After all, I already had my hands full with the third draft Lionhearted, not to mention ongoing pre-production for my next novel, Morleigh Hall.
But then on November 1, after watching excited announcements on Twitter from so many of my writing friends about how they’d embarked on their own NaNoWriMo projects, I had a sudden thought: “Wait a minute…why shouldn’t I take advantage of this challenge again this year?!”
Last year I did NaNoWriMo for the first time, and it was AMAZING. I chose a Victoria fanfiction as my project, and although I never actually finished the story I did reach my end goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. Because that’s the whole point of National Novel Writing Month: you’re not supposed to have a flawless novel at the end of November, primed and ready for printing. You’re just supposed to get those words down, no matter how rough they are.
And that’s what I really, really need right now. The truth is, I’ll be finished with this draft of Lionhearted THIS COMING FRIDAY (hallelujah praise God), and I am NOT touching it again until after Christmas. Come 2019 I’ll be hard at work pursuing publication, but until the holidays are over I plan on giving this much tighter, much more polished version of Lionhearted a well-deserved break.
In the meantime, though, Morleigh Hall really needs some momentum–and what better way to give my first draft some much needed “oomph” than to participate in NaNoWriMo? I simply need to write the first 50,000 words. Not only do I already have an outline and loads of research at my fingertips, but this challenge will also force me to turn off my problematic half-friend, half-enemy: my Inner Editor.
I have a strange relationship with this finicky, edit-freak creature. On the one hand it’s proven quite ruthless with Lionhearted, which has gone from a 150,000-word behemoth to a 124,000-word epic, the average length of a sci-fi novel. On the other hand, my Inner Editor is an absolute menace towards my creative side: every time I try to write something new I catch myself trying to make it absolutely pristine.
NaNoWriMo, however, won’t let me do that. I have 30 days to write like I’m running out of time. By the end of November Morleigh Hall won’t be perfect and I highly doubt it’ll even be complete–but I will get to know this new story of mine far better that I would have otherwise, and I think I’ll have a lot of fun in the process.
You can read a short synopsis of Morleigh Hall here. And if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, leave a comment and let me know! I’d love to be writing buddies!