Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I usually try and hide this time of year, and to tell you the truth, that still sounds like a pretty good idea. All of this eagerness and excitement for the month of November causes me to break out in a sweat and curdle things sloshing in the bottom of my stomach.

If only I had a rabbit hole handy.

November is National Novel Writing Month. I've been unable to decide if it was shortened to NaNoWriMo out of affection or derision.

The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. It just happens that one of my busiest months of the year was chosen for the event. I'm pretty sure it was a man who selected November. Why not March?

People from all over the world sign up to encourage each other in this quest. There's competition and tracking.

And Good Golly, Miss Molly . . . I just signed up. What was I thinking?

Here's the thing . . . I need to learn how to control my Inner Editor. I need to learn to get the bones down without worrying about what they look like, or even if they're connected. I think adding 50,000 words to my current work-in-process can only be positive—even if I end up taking half of them out when I edit in December.

And here's a smart thing . . . I just got an email from NaNoWriMo with the subject: NaNoWriMo Loves Peg Brantley.

And this from the email: Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it's hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn't. Every book you've ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.

So maybe it is with affection.

I'll let you know.

CR: On Writing by Stephen King.

Working on: Adding words every day . . . not waiting for November.

It's all better with friends.


  1. You'll love it! I did it last year and got 100 pages down before I had to stop for Thanksgiving. Last year I didn't have an outline or anything--not even an idea so I just sat down and started typing. This year, my story is all outlined. My characters are named. I'm ready. I'll probably stop for Thanksgiving because we go out of the woods, no Internet.
    Have fun. If you can find me, buddy up. Jessy in Lake Charles, LA

  2. LOL I've been thinking that this is the year I need to do this, but . . . Still need to sign up, though. I know, I know. The first is Saturday. There's all that Thanksgiving stuff, too! Thinking of you, and hope you get lots written.

  3. 'Other' Peg: :)

    I signed up, too. This will be my 4th, or is it 5th? year to participate. 4 I think. I skipped 2007, though. But I "won" in 2006. (That's the WIP I'm cleaning up now.)

    It is fun, but that infernal internal editor will pitch a fit if you're not reaaalllly careful.

    If you wanna buddy up, look for pushing70novelist


    Peg, in Las Vegas, NV

  4. Okay Jess and Peg, I've added you as buddies. C'mon, Margie. Give it a go. . . .

    (I'm simply hoping to add words, Margie . . . a LOT of words.)

  5. Oh gosh . . . just in case you guys are set up for any new comments . . . I pressed today and got 1,027 words written.

    Then I divided 50,000 by 30 days. ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED SIXTY-SEVEN words.


    What in the world have I done?