Thursday, October 28, 2004

hacking it out

Some of you may have heard of NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month. It's a sort of internet community, or writing workshop, or collective madness, in which participants commit to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. It's an art-for-art's sake exercise. There are no requirements with regard to quality or subject matter; the only goal is to put a lot of words on paper in a very short time.

I'm considering writing Trace a/k/a the cowboy/vampire novel in NaNoWriMo. My husband has been nagging me about it for a couple of months, now. I've been dragging my feet, what with kimonos and Halloween and stuff. But I want to do it, and more than that, I want to be done with it. NaNoWriMo may be the kick in the pants I need.

I have enough generic knowledge about the Old West and the 1880's in general, I could probably skate through on clichés, then fix the details in December. More to the point, I could take it to my writer's group in December and let them fix the details. They live to nitpick. Still more to the point, that would give me yet another completed work in my coffer. I need some of those.

Fifty thousand words in thirty days is 1667 words per day; 1700 to be safe. That's about three and a half pages per day, in my habitual font/page layout. That's not a lot, for me. When I'm actually working on a story, I often write five or six pages a day. I can turn out a 10,000 word story in a weekend. The problem is I'm a primadonna and I typically go for weeks without writing anything at all. I've been worse since I got married.

Fifty thousand words of Trace, assuming seven to ten thousand words per story (I plan for this to be a series of episodes or chapters, as in a comic book, rather than a straight novel), gives me five to seven stories. I'd be content with that.

There are three days until November 1. I must think about plots. And make eggrolls.

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