Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where do ideas come from?

Yesterday I started to get myself worked up over NaNoWriMo. The premise is that you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. You switch off your inner editor and inner critic and just write until you hit 50,000 words. This is basically 1667 words a day. Don't worry about whether it is well written, well punctuated, well structured...... just get the words down.

All well and good, if you actually have even a slight idea of what you are going to write about!

I discovered NaNo nearly 3 years ago. In January. NaNo takes place in November. So I'd missed it. But I wanted to give it a go and didn't want to wait nearly a year to do it officially. I decided I would do it on my own for the month of February. I had an idea floating in my head from a dream I had had, so on Feb 1st I started. And somehow the words came. I made my target the first day, and the second and the third......and the story was evolving quite nicely. I hit day 14 and struggled a bit but made the word count. Then I stopped. I had no idea what to write next. I missed a day, I missed another day, and by then I was 3300 odd words behind! That was the end of my NaNo effort.

BUT I had written 25,000 words which was 25,000 words more than I'd had 14 days earlier. I still have those words somewhere.

This time I am signed up to the official website to start along with everyone else around the world on November 1st. And until an hour ago I didn't really have any idea what I was going to write. Unfortunately you can't use something you have already started as everyone has to start on a level playing field (although I'm sure there are some out there who bend the rules a bit). I'd convinced myself I couldn't do it and that I was going to look stupid after telling people, including my knitting group, that I was going to write a novel in a month. What was I thinking telling them?

But suddenly, from somewhere I have the inklings of a plot. I've written it down quickly just in case I forget it. The whole outline for my novel is 3 lines long. All I have to do now is expand it to 50,000 words!!!

Oh heck!!!

And just to make it a little bit more difficult I accidentally signed up for a mini Sock Wars called Day of the Dead. Guess when it starts? November 1st!!!


mooncalf said...

You'll be OK, you can do it! If all else fails surrealism might get you out of a tight corner :)

Sarah said...

Maybe you could write about the sock war ;o) Sounds like you have your plate full but you'll cope I'm sure and if not at least you tried.

Mandy said...

Good luck with it all. I know I couldn't possibly emulate you on this one! The socks or the writing!

clarabelle said...

Wow. I might just have to nosey around this site for a bit...

What an amazing link, Donna - I knew nothing about this before. I'm with you, about feeling that I've got something to write about, and then hitting a brick wall. My 'writing' at the moment, in my blog!


clarabelle said...

gaah... meant to say, 'my writing IS my blog'. What hope have I?!

j, said...

I am sure you can do it and hope you post it somewhere so we can have a read!!