National Novel Writing Month – Why?

ImageAfter a beautiful week of near 80-degree temperatures, we dropped into the forties with rain all weekend. That kept us from doing yard work, but we managed to accomplish a few other tasks.

It was good to take the weekend away from the blogosphere. I watched a few movies, hubby and I dusted off the Nintendo 64 and played a few rounds of Dr. Mario, and I made some preparations for NaNo – as well as a pot of chili. Yum.

I wasn’t going to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t really see the point. All four of my books are in the 50k to 57k range, and the first three were all written in a three week period of time (with editing after, of course). House guests and a few other projects cropped up in the middle of book number four, but the actual writing was about four weeks with one day producing 7100 words. I didn’t feel the need to challenge myself by participating.

I’ve been enjoying reading about what others are doing to prepare. Some have everything planned down to the number of hours to write in a day, food choices, number of words to write daily, housekeeping schedules, etc.  I’m highly competitive, and the thought of being a “winner” is enticing, but that wasn’t a strong enough motive to participate.

The reason I finally decided to sign up is that I’ve been dragging my feet about writing at all. I only want to write two more Susan Hunter books, and I just haven’t been able to get started on the next book other than the first two paragraphs. I’m thinking NaNo is the kick in the pants I need.

But there are other things happening behind the scenes. Writing came out of nowhere for me this year. After seeing other people sell short stories for a dollar on Smashwords, I just wanted to see if I could write a story, too. The fact that a book – let alone four – came out still astounds me. I’ve said it a million times, my books aren’t extraordinary with fantastic plots, but they are entertaining, which is all I ever hoped for.

If this next book goes well, and I enjoy writing it as much as I did the others, I’ll keep writing. (I’m kind of afraid it will all disappear as fast as it showed up. Or my shades of ADD will kick it to the curb for something else.)

I did manage quite a bit of research and preparation over the weekend for the official start on Thursday: ImageFrom right to left:

-My notebook with my original thoughts on scenes, characters, and how I want the story to unfold.

-More scribble notes with a scribble map of where I want events to take place.

– Printout of a Google street map in Chicago. I’m having Susan and Darby stay in a condo where I once stayed. The building and the surroundings are familiar to me and will make writing the story easier.

– Notes from a pulp fiction story that is in the public domain. It has the elements I want to use for a sub-plot in the condo.

– Another map outlining crime areas in Chicago. I can’t very well have Susan walking around in areas that are noted as high crime areas.

– Scribble notes with research needed for Susan personally, and I also jotted down some things that came to me for the opening scene at a gas station.

-Obligatory dish of m&m’s for research and writing.

– The typed pages atop my scanner are other details I previously worked out for the book, as well as all of my research into cooking contests.

I still need to do a bit more research based on the criminal element of the story, and then I’ll be ready to start writing. If I don’t make it to 50,000 words by the end of the November, that’s ok. If I do, I’ll be editing like crazy around the clock so I can publish right away. It would be awesome to have a book with a Christmas theme published in time for Christmas.

I wish everyone good luck and joy as they write during National Novel Writing Month.

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