Write a Novel? No Problem.

As you’ll notice in my “NaNoWriMo 2010” tab, I have signed up to do this year’s NaNoWriMo.  For those of you that don’t know what that is, NaNoWriMo celebrates November as National Novel Writing Month.  During NaNoWrimo, participants are to write a 50,000 word novel.  The goal is output, not quality.  Brave participants do not go it alone as NaNoWrimo has basically arranged itself into a social networking site.  Forums help authors sift through the details of their novels and most regions sponsor write-ins.

I was first introduced to NaNoWriMo as a freshman in college. My hip, artsy dorm neighbor from New York announced that she was going to do NaNoWriMo. When she gave me the details, I was intrigued.  Sadly, my novel was not longer than 5 pages, but ever since that year, NaNoWriMo has plagued my mind.  It has been a life goal of mine to write a novel and I can’t think of a better way to write one than to pound one out.

Speaking of writing novels, I did hand write a novel in the 7th grade.  This one was 154 pages handwritten and it was told through the eyes of Suzanne, a 7th grade girl who was madly in love with her 8th grade boyfriend, Jimmy.  Jimmy lived a life of crime as he was constantly getting suspended from school.  Suzanne and Jimmy had their share of difficult times especially since Suzanne, a straight A student, did not always enjoy being associated with such a troublemaker.  They broke up briefly, but rekindled their romance during a dinner at Pizza Hut followed by a trip to the skating rink.  One day, at the climax of the novel, Jimmy ran away and Suzanne was involved in a search party.  He eventually returned, unharmed.   Meanwhile, Suzanne’s older sister Francesca was always out doing cooler activities like playing high school volleyball and participating in the school play.  I think Suzanne’s mom also had a baby during the novel, but that was virtually insignificant.  Suzanne’s sometimes tumultuous relationship with her ever-changing friends was also a good subplot as was the fact that Jimmy’s cousin, Dawn, moved to their midwestern/east coast town from California.  Dawn was obsessed with her looks and was a closeted anorexic.  While getting ready for the dance, it was obvious that Dawn had never eaten a decent meal in her life.  Originally, I killed off Dawn, but then I decided that it would be better to portray her in a more positive light.  You know, turn her into a role model for middle school girls struggling with image issues.  In the end, everything turns out hunky dory and Suzanne marvels at how much she has changed in the past year and how eighth grade will be even better because she knows how to overcome adversity.

I eventually lost this manuscript, but the important part is that I went through the writing process. I am hoping that I can approach NaNoWriMo with the same passion that I did in the 7th grade when I completed my one and only novel.  I also hope I can find similar success.

One final note, now that I have made my goal public, I am urging you to heckle me, harass me, and maybe even cheer me to the completion of my novel. Thanks in advance!

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3 thoughts on “Write a Novel? No Problem.”

  1. Wait… a “50,000 page novel” That seems like it would be nigh impossible in a month! 😉

    Maybe you have some good material here from your old novel form your new novel. Dawn could be a character with some already established backstory for example. I’m excited to see how this unrolls.

  2. UH-OH! Major typo! I meant to say 50,000 WORD novel!

    You know, I was just thinking about that same thing after I wrote this post. I think I could totally use this material for my Nano novel. I like the idea of having Dawn as a character with a dark past. I’ll keep you posted.

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