Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yep--Another Banner NaNoWriMo Year!!!

Yep. I'm gonna do it again. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month.

The goal of NaNoWriMo: Write a 50,000-word novel in a month, in this case, November. Thirty days. 50,000 words. Fun.

I participated in 2008 for the first time. Yes, me. The NON-fiction writer. The I-barely-survived-creative-writing-in-college writer. The writer who had not penned a work of fiction since that same creative writing class...which I think culminated in a story about a flea named Spike.

I wrote a story about a single woman on the journey from the evangelical church to the liturgical, historical Anglican church. Of course, the story was quite autobiographical, but I took my creative writing professor's words to heart: Write what you know. And I completed the challenge: 50,000 words by November 29th, 2008.

In 2009 I tackled the second half of the novel which I had titled The Pilgrim Pathway. Have I touched it since November 28, 2009? Nope. It's very rough (actually, "extremely rough" would be more accurate), but mostly complete.

Last year I was teaching an intensive Brave Writer class over the month of November, so I elected to take up a Poem-a-Day challenge through Robert Brewer's Poets Market blog on the Writers Market website. I wrote thirty poems, a few of them decent, and received some wonderfully helpful critiques from some fairly major poets. Cool. But I think I sunk as much time into the poems as I would have in NaNoWriMo.

But the joyous freedom of allowing a story to unfold in one's brain and flow through tapping fingers onto a computer screen was too addicting. I started writing a fiction story on another website in the middle of the month; I've been posting a chapter a week and am down to the final three chapters. The story contains 50 chapters (very short, 25000-word chapters which is what the website handles best), and 200 pages on my computer, 150 pages on the website. And this story has followers: it has garnered over 110,000 "reads" (or hits), over 1100 votes/likes, nearly 1000 individual comments, and last week the 50th chapter reached a high ranking of #9 in its category. So I guess I couldn't stop writing fiction after all.

So I'm back with NaNoWriMo in 2011, and I'm planning to work on a second story I started on the same writing website in August. It's called Pinned but Fluttering. So far I have a prologue and seven chapters written, and it's even more popular than my first story. I posted Chapter Seven early Wednesday, and this morning it's ranked #4 in its category and #2 in the Thriller category--it reached #1 in the Thriller category for a few days last week. Out of over a million stories and poems posted on the site, these rankings are very encouraging!

And the exciting thing about NaNoWriMo this year is that I'm doing it with friends! In 2009, I "friended" a writing student and a member of our local writers workshop, and we worked together, encouraging each other. My local friend and I even met at our library and wrote next to each other, our fingers typing as we composed companionably.

But this year I will be participating with several former writing students, all having graduated high school, plus my workshop friend. And on a whim I offered extra credit to my current writing class in our home school co-op--one extra credit point for every 1000 words written, with a maximum of 50 extra credit points. And almost half the class raised hands when I asked who was considering participating in NaNoWriMo this fall.

And NaNoWriMo is more than a bunch of people writing: over a quarter of a million adults participate, along with school programs for kids. But NaNoWriMo is a non-profit, so in the spirit of sharing the love of writing (and the money), I'm posting a two-minute video on all they do, with the hopes that many of us will send in a few bucks to keep the ball[point pens] rolling..

So...who's in??? Post your NaNoWriMo user name in my comments, and we can journey together!!

Writing with you,

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