Last night I temporarily signed away any scrap of social life I had, and decided to join forces with thousands of other writers during NaNoWriMo 2011.
Now, I am aware that the basic idea of NaNoWriMo is that the writer begins with an outline, but does not begin actually writing the story until November 1st (the end of the challenge being the 30th), with the word count at the end of the month expected to be about 50K.
However, I already have a solid (although measly) 13,000 words of my current (and debut) novel, and would hate to toss my thin manuscript to the side and create yet another idea; I’ve become extremely attached to this one, and do not want to part with it, even temporarily. Instead I’d prefer to push through, and get as many words onto the page as I possibly can; and I figured a 30 day rush to 50K would be a great way to get a large chunk finished.
Which is why I wanted to join November’s challenge. But as I signed up, I found myself wondering: Am I breaking any NaNoWriMo “rules”? Or are there any actual “rules” to the concept at all?
A quick Google search lead me to the site’s forums, particularly one entitled “Welcome to Rebellion! You are NOT a cheater.” This forum is filled to the brim with others writers like myself, wanting to take on NaNoWriMo but as a means of finishing (or coming close to) a first draft of a novel they have already begun, some that even started their potential novels during the 2010 challenge.
The thread contained several posts from various Rebels, stickin’ it to the Man and shouting from the cyber rooftops that NaNoWriMo is for anyone! Who’s going to care if you followed the rules, if you get a great book out of it?
And so I found my place, as a first time NaNoWriMo participant, among the Rebels. I always did prefer to sit in the back of the classroom, anyway.
November 1st kicks things off, and I am pumped! I’m hoping I can meet my 50,000 word “requirement” and still maintain my sanity. I’m sure I’ll end up sacrificing one (and I don’t plan on letting it be the word count).
You know what? Maybe I’ll even shoot for 60,000. Let’s up the ante.
What have I gotten myself into?