Thursday, November 4, 2010

Welcome to NaNoWriMo!

Bet you didn't know that November is National Novel Writing Month, did you? Well, it is.

An eleven-year tradition with 127,000 participants this year, the insane and uplifting contest known as NaNoWriMo is brought to you by the Office Of Letters and Light, a 501(c)3 charity headquartered in Oakland.

The purpose? To get people writing novels. Yes, you too! 50,000 words in 30 days is all it takes. Your novel doesn't have to be witty, or ready to publish, or even good. In fact, the point of NaNoWriMo isn't to write well, it's just to write. So if you decide after ten days and 18,000 words that you don't want your story to be about a young scholar in the Victorian era, you can have him wake up in the 23rd century and go off to his job as an interstellar fighter pilot in the war with the aliens. No, really.

Wrimos are directed to write. Just write. If you run through your plot in four days instead of four weeks, the OLL website has a Random Plot Element generator to give you a new idea. "Write a llama, a tub of Red Vines, and a trip to Tahiti into your next chapter." *snaps to attention* Yes, Ma'am! If you realize in chapter 19 that you need a character you killed off in chapter 4, there's an "adoption center" where you can find a suitable replacement. Or heck, it's NaNoWriMo for heavens' sake, just bring him back from the dead with an unsubtle plot twist!

Come to think of it, NaNoWriMo is a little like a soap opera in that way. It's all about quantity, not quality. No offense to readers who like soap operas. (Personally I find them frustratingly addicting, but since I got rid of my TV they aren't a problem for me now. Unlike Mah-Jongg.)

At any rate, I have been roped into the insanity this year, so I will be posting on my blog and I will try to get on here and update you as well. If you want to join the party, we're having write-ins all over the county this month. I will be hosting two at the Sylvan Way library, on the 15th and 22nd, both Mondays, from 6-8 in the evening. Bring your laptop and your free spirit, people, we're gonna be novelling!