“Um, Violet? Have you been drinking too much hard apple cider? You know it IS a work day, right? What’s up with the funky word?” You may be asking.
No, dear readers. I haven’t misspelled anything (except for maybe misspell. Isn’t it ironic that it’s one of the most commonly wrongly spelled words?). While other people around here are simply celebrating Halloween, I’m celebrating the ushering in of a very important month: November. To those in writing world, that means National Novel Writing Month
(though I must say that mad props go to those celebrating Movember–the month of the moustache). To say that I’m mega-excited is an understatement. As a basic summary, during NaNoWriMo, the challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days (for those of you doing the math, that’s 1667 words a day and adds up to approximately a 175-page novel). It is crazy and exhillirating and wonderful and stressful and sleep-depriving all at the same time, and it’s something I’ve come to look forward to every year. I’ve participated in it since 2009, when I first read about it in a book we got in at work called (appropriately enough for this blog) “The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life”. I believe it’s actually listed on my “List of Lists” page.
Anyway, the most hardcore among the NaNoWriMo participants begin writing at the stroke of midnight on Halloween (well, technically November 1st). There are even kick-off parties all over the world. I participated in my first one last year and I absolutely loved it. Over 100 people gathered around at a restaurant and we counted down the seconds until midnight, and then you could hear nothing but keyboards clicking away furiously and creativity happening. Little by little people would shout out that they reached 1667 words (or perhaps it was 1000? I don’t quite remember) and the rest of the crowd would applaud for them. The host of the kick-off party would then present the goal-achiever with a fun prize.
This year I unfortunately don’t live close enough to a kick-off party. It’s also 10:30 and I can already feel my eyes closing, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do the midnight-type as I have in years’ past.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not excited or that I’m not going to write. I’m going to participate in a write-in tomorrow and I’m psyched for it. And I’m also psyched that I may finally be able to do fairly-regular Written Word Wednesday posts for y’all. Every Wednesday I’ll post a new chunk of what I’ve written (at least 11,669-words’-worth of chunk, to be exact). I can’t wait to hear your comments on it and for you to get inside my mind.
Before, that, though, I want to tell you guys a secret: this is the first year I have NO CLUE what to write about. I feel as if my creative juices have completely evaporated, and it’s a bit disheartening, to say the least. But an idea has started in my mind and I suppose all I can do is run with it until I can run no more. Here’s what I have so far (and as much of a teaser that I can give you, given the fact that I don’t really have a plot or conflict to speak of, let alone a name picked out for the main character or a definite location…):
I have been listening to a lot of country music in the past few years (don’t judge), so that’s a big part of the influence of this novel. I also picked up Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, the last book in their four-part young adult southern gothic series. Then there’s the song “Merry Go Round” by Kacey Musgraves that I’ve had stuck in my head, and then, finally, the fact that it’s an election year has really influenced me.
What I guess I’m trying to say is I’m interested in writing, however shortly it may be, about the south. I think my story is going to be about a girl (who I tentatively want to name Roberta Grace, “Bobbie Grace” for short) who grows up in a small town in Georgia (whether or not I’m going to make this town fictional or real, I haven’t figure out yet). She’s a rebel who desperately wants to escape her stifling town and be able to be herself, so she decides to move to a suburb somewhere in the Northwest (again, not sure if it’ll be fictional or real). In her small town in Georgia, it’s much more common and expected to get married and have kids when you’re young, but that’s not the life for Bobbie Grace. She decides she wants to go and get her master’s degree (in what, I’m not sure). But plans get thwarted when she unexpectedly falls in love with someone and they buy a house. All the money she saved up for college goes towards the down payment of her house, and she feels as if her life has once again been handed over to a situation, rather than her calling the shots in her own life. (Hey! I think I just figured out my conflict. Like right at this very moment as I was writing this out.)
I have a faint idea of how I want it to end, but I don’t want to give any spoilers away. For now, I’ll leave you with a very rough, entirely changeable future book blurb. 🙂
Good night, all, and Happy HalloNaNoWeen!!! (Also? If I’ve interested you enough and you want to participate, you should totally check out nanowrimo.org. You’ll love it.)