I’m gonna warn you from the get-go: I’ve got nothin’ tonight. Writer’s Block with a capital WB. I’m hoping I’ll warm up as I go.
So, you know how I participated in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) this November? Well. I finished. Excuse me, I WON. (That’s the proper NaNo slang for getting to 50,000 words by midnight on November 30. Anybody can win.)
And you know what? It really wasn’t all that hard. And do you know what that statement says about me? My novel is probably a piece of trash. Because GOOD writing? Does not generally come so easy.
On second thought, it WAS hard. Here’s what I thought was hardest:
1. coming up with plot ideas and not resolving them instantly, no matter how hard I wanted to.
2. writing an average of 1,667 words a day, even when I didn’t feel like it.
3. writing a story from beginning to end (I have never, ever done this before).
4. not going back one single time to edit anything.
5. making it realistic but not boring.
I’m going to let the little booger sit for awhile. Then sometime in January, I might get it out, read it (I’ve never even read it!), edit and revise it, and then… I’m not dumb enough to think it’s something a publisher would want to look at. My sweet agent would probably raise her eyebrow at me if I even hinted at it. This thing was just me dipping my toes in fiction writing to see if it’s something I’d like to study/learn/pursue.
I’m not sure it is.
I’m definitely not a natural at it. The whole plot thing? Ack. Now, dialogue? That’s another thing altogether. People talking to each other? I’m all over that. If I could write a book that was 100% dialogue (or a book of letters!), I might give it a whirl.
If I were on stage accepting an award right now for “winning” NaNoWriMo, I’d have to thank my husband first. That dude got so into my book. He wanted to help me invent characters and plot twists. He gave me ideas and mapped out a time line. He even made a map of the world (one of my characters lives in Ohio and one in Cambodia–original, I know).
Speaking of original, most of my characters and plot were modeled after someone/some experience I’m familiar with. Apparently, I’m lacking in the imagination department. Because much of the story takes place in Cambodia–in an orphanage even–I’m thinking of ways I could use the “book” to help raise money for the missionary (love you, Jen!) and kiddos our church supports over there.
Gabe and I have tossed around the idea of making a website for the “book.” (And yes, I’m going to keep writing the word “book” in quotations.) Like, start in February and post a page of the book each day. And if you just can’t wait (ha!) a whole year to finish the book, you can make a donation to the Coins for Cambodia Fund, and I’ll send you the whole manuscript.
If you’ve ever considered writing a novel, I highly recommend NaNoWriMo as a great place to start. There’s no pressure. You can write 50,000 words of pure waste, and you still win. No one sees your novel. It doesn’t matter how awful it is. You just write and write and write. And worry about making it good later. Or never.
Can you see yourself writing a novel someday?