Oh, how novel

In little more than six months NaNoWriMo 2012 begins, and a few hundred thousand will throw themselves into thirty days and nights of literary abandon. Most likely, myself included.

My first year was 2009. Objectively, it was my most successful, storywise. It definitely had the most words somewhat pertaining to my feeble plot. I did not do any planning on the story until November 1. A story idea sparked from some free-writing I included in my word count, and I was glad for that. (All writing is fair game for inclusion in the word count!) Reaching the 50,000-word goal by month’s end was thrilling!

My attempt the next year did not go well at all. My region’s municipal liaison was AWOL 99% of the time. No one attended any of my lunchtime write-ins at the library. And I couldn’t come up with any kind of story idea. I let these annoyances overly annoy me, and I gave up just over a week into the challenge.

Last year’s NaNo was another winner for me. I was determined to not only reach 50,000 words, but to also ensure my region had a municipal liaison. I applied and was accepted as co-ML to the formerly AWOL ML. Then reality hit. Pressure to write 50K as an example to region participants. Pressure to organize write-ins. Pressure to provide ongoing encouragement to struggling participants. Pressure to co-ordinate my support efforts with my co-ML. I cranked out close to 30K words in the final week, for a glorious streak across the finish line, and had fun meeting other writers. Truth be told, I never did come up with much of a story. I had characters read a lot of news I found on the Internet. I copied every word, keystroke by keystroke. Copy-pasting would have crossed the line into outright cheating.

So here we are, six months and two weeks until NaNo 2012. The rules say no writing before November 1, but planning ahead of time is perfectly acceptable. I think I’ll start planning now. It would be awesome to produce a rough draft that actually resembled the rough draft of a real novel for a change.