Preparing For National Novel Writing Month 2011

A few days ago after my most recent interview…I made a commitment to myself. If I did not get this job then I would participate in National Novel Writing Month. As it turns out, I didn’t get the job. It was a mixture of extreme disappointment and relief. 

So I’m going to do it – I’m going to write a book in 30 days.

Because I’ve had this story idea kicking around in my head for a while now. To the point where I’ve written out the few scenes that inspired it, as well as built up the world around it. It’s a five-page Google document that has been haunting me for the last six months, with very little progress to show for it.

I am a person in need of firm deadlines – it’s a layover from all that High School Journalism. On my own, I will putter around and invent distractions (like the internet) and never get a damn thing accomplished. Compressing the entire novel-writing experience into 30 days will force me to get at least 2,000 words a day on paper. Whether its complete tripe or a mythically perfect first draft – it will be something more than what I have now.

And it will be something to show at the end of three months of unemployment. 

Besides nearly completing four classes of my certification program. And securing an internship.

Not that I’m not completely in love with blogging as my main source of writing, but I’ve been meaning to put something more creative and non-fictiony together for years.

The NaNoWriMo experience is pretty established both online and IRL. Can’t help but be impressed with the level of community building they are able to create.

There was a kick-off party this weekend at the downtown library, they have weekly or bi-weekly writing gatherings, and their website features forums designed for fellow writers to offer support. I’ve gone so far as to create a profile and introduce myself to the group. Several people in Portland are making outlines for each chapter. I’m afraid my thoughts aren’t that put together. I don’t even really know how it will end. I know the basic structure, but I’ve never been able to put my stories together in that orderly a fashion.

What I have in the Google Doc is probably the  closest thing I’ll get to an outline the night before NaNoWriMo kicks off.

Dan The Spouse has proposed I sort of “live-blog” the novel-writing process and post the 2,000 words each day for public consumption. That’s a bit frightening for me. I’m a huge fan of the editing process and first drafts are generally weak, full of crap dialogue and patched together scenes. And 2,000 words a day without any kind of filter before they reach a wider audience is intimidating. Plus, how do I copyright that if I want to later publish it as a final draft?

Perhaps I will post some excerpts as the month progresses and keep you all updated about the word count and the process. Stay tuned.

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

12 responses to “Preparing For National Novel Writing Month 2011”

  1. Jen says :

    I had a friend tell me I should do this with this novel I’m currently in the process of outlining, but I don’t think there’s any way I could finish it in a month!

    I would say your idea of posting excerpts you like versus the whole 2000 words each day would be a fun idea! 🙂

    • tinyheroes says :

      I like the idea of setting a word count to write each day – even if you don’t end up completing. If nothing else, it would get you in the habit of writing and you’d have substantially more work completed then when you originally started.

      *fingers crossed* That the month will fly by quickly. Good luck with your outline! 🙂

  2. Karen Crouchley says :

    What a great project to pursue while you have some time to devout to it. You are so clever to move forward with school and writing opportunities, while you have this time available. I love it (and you).

    • tinyheroes says :

      Awww – thanks Ma. Your support is much appreciated. Hopefully I have something worthwhile to show at the end of this month! 🙂

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