Exactly one week from today, the epic novel-writing adventure, NaNoWriMo, officially begins.
I honestly can’t believe it. After anticipating this event all year, I don’t know what to do now that it’s finally come to pass! What will I write about? Will my characters cooperate? Can I finally make it to 50k this year? I still don’t have a plot–will I survive? And most importantly, will my mother let me eat tacos every 10,000 words?
Teeth chattering and hands shaking, I imagine November 1. I reverently pull a notebook from its place on the shelf, stare at the sacred golden cover, and open it with a pen poised to make the first word. And then, once again, I imagine myself stressing.
How should I start? It’s GOT to be perfect! This word right here won’t do; perhaps that one would be better? Should I start with dialogue? Prose? A blow-by-blow description of my world? A butterfly?
In the past, I just started with the beginning–the prologue, the first word of the first chapter, or even all the background information of my characters. This is a rough draft, so I don’t have to be picky about what I put in it. The point of NaNoWriMo is to get words on paper. To finish a draft. To earn the bragging rights. To be able to say “I wrote a novel!” come December.
It doesn’t have to be GOOD. That’s what I told myself as I looked at the mess I’d created in 2009. One year later, it earned a semi-finalist position in a novel contest. Two years later, and it’s almost finished. The hot-off-the-press version of Forgiven, believe it or not, completely stank. I still have the original first draft lying around, and let me tell you, I cringe every time I look at it. It’s awful.
But I got to run around the house and rejoice afterwards, didn’t I?
It was epic.
Are you ready to join the epicness? Sign up at NaNoWriMo today.