After years and years of avoiding it, hiding from it, running from it and closing my eyes to pretend it wasn’t really there, I have been bitten by that bug called NaNoWriMo. To those who haven’t been hit by this horrible bug it is better defined as National Novel Writing Month.
At the encouragement of a few fellow writer’s this column/article writer has decided the time has come to go where she has never dared to go before: fiction.
As I scramble around in the last few days of my sanity or at least as close as any writer ever gets to sanity, I begin to wonder. What will I write about? How does one actually write fiction? Ask me about my life, my kid, the disastrous relationships from my past, ask me how to paint your dogs toenails and I can turn out an article on the topic, but fiction? Why must NaNoWriMo insist on fiction? Well, alright, I agree it would not be a novel if it were non-fiction but those are just minor details, right? I have to make up a story all by myself in my head? How am I supposed to do that? Well, I did make up a story in my head once, it was about this guy who turned me down for a date and I detailed all the ways he was going to be sorry for that. I wonder if that would make a good fiction story? Damn NaNoWriMo for chipping away at my type A minus personality. I am a perfectionist and a “bit” of a control freak, this is going to blow my ability to make someone else do it perfectly and they are stealing my control.
Who ever heard of writing without editing? How does one write without editing? Yep, that is part of the NanoWriMo plan. Just write. No editing, no sweating, no worries. The creator even wrote a book titled “No Plot, No Problem”. Obviously, he is a few bricks short of a load or maybe a few pages short of a novel. Who is Chris Baty anyway and why did he create such a way to torture me?
I wonder what my novel will be about? Maybe about a writer who joins a writing competition that isn’t really a competition, because everyone who finishes wins? That’s so crazy it just might work. Maybe a type A minus writer who drowns herself in coffee and chocolate trying to win a competition that everybody wins? Maybe, I can just write the same word over and over and over again. The copy and paste buttons work nicely on my laptop. No, I couldn’t pull that off, I like short cuts but I also am known to feel guilty for breaking the rules.
Well, even type A minus personalities need guidance, as we don’t know everything even though we try to convince others we do. So, I suppose I am off to lock myself in Barnes and Noble’s writing section while I read every book on novel writing before the beginning of NaNaWriMo at midnight on November 1st. I am sure I will add Chris Baty’s book onto my list.
I suspect I will have a dartboard hanging on my wall with the photo of Chris Baty through the entire process. Who knows maybe a few dart holes will help me stop cursing the creator of NaNoWriMo long enough to get 50,000 words written in 30 days. Who knows maybe there will be a novel to come of it and yes, maybe, just maybe this column/article writer will discover that she actually likes writing fiction at the end of this process.
As for the non-editing: Nobody ever said, I can’t get someone else to do that as I write the pages. Any bored editors out there who want to help a type A minus writer from losing her mind entirely? OK, so no editors. Maybe just some cool people who want to cheer on a scared to death non-fiction writer as she enters the very scary world of fiction? I do hope you will follow along my NaNoWriMo journey as I see where this takes me.
If you don’t want to cheer me on, how about joining NaNoWriMo yourself and discover the novelist that has always been dying to get out for yourself. Maybe together we will find ourselves thanking Chris Baty and the NaNoWriMo founders by the end of this process because we will discover that NaNaWriMo will take us to new levels of writing that we had never considered until now.