This November I am going to be taking part in National Novel Writing Month. What this entails is, quite simply, writing a 50,000 word draft of a novel by the end of the month. If that seems like a hell of a lot of words to write in a month, well, it is. But it should be a good challenge, and hopefully a useful writing exercise.
I have a very loose idea of the novel I’m going to write – about the lives of people living inside an infinitely tall tower in some distant future – but I’ve not got much more than that. There’s no overriding plot yet, and it’s possible there won’t be by the end either; this might end up being more of a tumbling together of disparate ideas and story threads than one cohesive plot.
I’m going to approach the whole thing like a free-writing exercise – just sit down with an idea in mind, and write the first thing that comes to mind. And then keep writing until I either hit the word count, reach the end of the month, or my ideas dry up completely.
It’s a new approach to writing for me – I tend to start writing with a definite idea of at least the main characters, and the important plot points mapped out in my head before I even begin typing. I’m going to try and come up with something more organic, more instinctual, driven by the pressures of a very tight writing schedule. We’ll see how that plays out in a month’s time.
I could come out with something great. It could end up being the novel of the century. More likely, perhaps, it will end up being incoherent rubbish. Or I’ll run out of things to write a week in and the whole exercise will be a dismal failure. Still, I like the idea of starting off a month with a stem of an idea, and ending the month with 50,000 words of something. Whether it’s any good or not is almost beside the point.
I’ll endeavour to provide semi-regular progress updates – though I’m bound to not actually do this, as a result of spending all my time writing and forgetting to post anything at all – and eventually the finished article, however successful, will be available here.
See you in December!