It was November again, and the voice of NanoWrimo was heard in the land…
What is NanoWrimo and why am I touting it?
NanoWrimo is National Novel Writing Month. The first draft of Darkship Thieves was written during NaNoWrimo.
What you’ll hear about NanoWrimo:
- No professional writers take part in NanoWrimo
- It’s impossible to write a good novel in less than a year – or two, or according to a friend of mine, five.
- If you do NanoWrimo you must be involved in all the groups and all the social activities, and then you’ll have no time to write.
- The goal to win NanoWrimo is to have written 50 thousand words and that’s not enough for a modern novel.
- I belong to several writers lists online, all of them chockablock with professional writers. Many of them take part in NanoWrimo every single year.
- Not only is it not impossible, but the history of literature is full of novels written in a month or less. On the Road, for instance, and The Prime of Miss Jane Brodey and A Study in Scarlet and almost anything Rex Stout ever wrote.
My own claim to fame in the area of fast writing is Plain Jane, written under the house name Laurien Gardner (the house owns the name. This means the other books under the name aren’t mine.) I could only write it that quickly because my name wasn’t on the cover.
I have no idea how good it is, but of all my books, despite a relatively low royalty rate (it was a work for hire) it has made me the most in royalties.
The truth is that the more you write the faster you get at writing. This is the same as any other skill. For instance, by dint of typing a lot I can type about 150 words per minute, or could the last time I was clocked ten years ago. For all I know it is faster now. Does this mean my typing is inferior to the hunt-and-pecker beginning typist who only types 20 words a minute? As someone who was once that typist, let me assure you it isn’t. I was also far more likely to typo back then. Being slow didn’t make me better, just slower. And being faster doesn’t make me worse. I’m simply enjoying the wages of practice.
I’ve never done what could be called “NaNo for public consumption.” Part of this is because the first year I did it, when I wrote Darkship Thieves, my husband was working out of town, and the local group met five miles away for dinner. I’m night blind, and also I had a toddler and an elementary-school-kid I couldn’t leave with anyone. So my challenge/support group was my husband and a couple of friends, who were also doing it.
It worked just fine. Having a small group, or even reporting your daily wordage on Facebook can give you as much momentum as going to dinner every night with a group of strangers. More maybe, as the people cheering you on know you better.
Eh. I wrote 120 thousand words in a month, and my husband wrote 90 thousand. We wrote in fact full functional novels in a month. Of course, they each underwent a couple of revisions afterwards, but it’s much easier to revise when you have something to revise. At any rate, in the world of indie, fifty thousand words is a marketable novel.
So, why don’t you give NanoWrimo a try? The worst that can happen is you fail, and you know what, if you don’t try you’ll fail anyway. I belong to a group called Novel in a Week. All professional writers. I haven’t managed to do it yet, (when I did the novel in three days I was not a member) but some of those people do.
Now, that’s crazy daredevil writing. Writing a novel in a month is tame by comparison.
[Charlie sez:] Okay, yes, Book Plug Friday is coming on Sunday this week. It’s like this: Thursday night I tried to upgrade to Mac OS/X 10.10 “Yosemite”. It did not work out. After leaving it at “2 minutes remaining” overnight, I finally interrupted and tried to restore from Time Machine.
No success: most everything from my Applications folder that started with a letter higher than “I” was gone. Including some useful things like, say, “launchpad”. And all the Apple utilities.
So I tried rebuilding again. Still no job. I tried installing 10.10 from recovery. Nope.
I finally downloaded and reinstalled OS/X 10.9 and got a marginally working system again, but all my applications were still gone.
I set up a chat with Apple Support. The guy I talked to, “Brian,” was sympathetic and honestly pretty well-informed for first-tier support. But honestly, he could offer me only two things:
- The suggestion that I completely wipe the disk and completely reinstall.
I’ve pretty much spent the intervening weekend reloading applications, such as, for example, Sublime Text, the editor I use to do the links, and the various templates and such I use to build the links. It’s now Sunday afternoon and I’m finally able to actually work.
And that’s why Book Plug Friday came on Sunday this week.
Lyllith, last of her royal line, has become the rightful war-prize of her kingdom’s ruthless conqueror. The choice she faces—being wife to the man who ruined her land and murdered her father, or death—is no choice at all. Imprisoned in a lonely tower on a deserted headland, she waits to die as though waiting for an old friend.
But when a strange young boy appears in her cell one night, Lyllith is offered the only thing still worth living for: revenge. Accepting the chance plunges her into a contest thousands of years in the making, for the boy is not what he seems, her new freedom is illusory, and she is the unwitting heir to an ancient legacy with the power to destroy the world.
Baron Lucius Giovanni has managed to buy the human race a brief reprieve from the two alien races which seek humanity’s extinction. In the process, he has become the leader of a new nation and the commander of a powerful fleet. However, victory comes with consequences. Without an imminent threat, old feuds have sparked back to life and tenuous alliances falter. There are also old enemies who cannot forget that Lucius has what they want. He must find a way to hold off scheming rivals, sociopathic psychics, and even former friends. If he can’t do all that and take the fight to humanity’s true enemies, billions may die under alien servitude.