Monday, October 20, 2014

Wordcraft -- Prepare to get our WriMo on

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve accepted the challenge to join the National Novel Writing in a Month challenge¾ to tap out 50,000 words, basically a first draft¾ of a novel in the month of November. But I found an old idea, aka plot bunny, in my files and thought, why not put it to use? So NaNoWriMo, count me in again!

The point of NaNoWriMo, as its devotees name this event, is to turn off your inner editor for a month and let the words flow. Don’t stop to correct spelling, punctuation, grammar. Save that kind of revision for the next eleven months. Words have to be written before they can be revised. Instead, believe that by 11:59 p.m. on November 30, in whatever time zone we live in, we can hope to have the raw material on the page, on our screens, to do the revision that will make our dreams a real full-length story.

Oh, and that word “national” in the name? Don’t worry, fellow writers of the Earth. Since its start in San Francisco in 1999, NaNoWriMo has become a nonprofit organization with more than 300,000 participants from around the world.

So you’re thinking, today’s only October 20. We’ve still got twelve days until the first of November. Why are we talking about NaNoWriMo now? Well, because I’ve found that, although the dream of free-flowing words is a great one, those words come more freely if I have some idea where they’re going.

Those of us in in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can start those ideas flowing at the kick-off party for the DFW Rhinos group this coming Saturday, October 25, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the HalfPrice Books Flagship Store 5803 E. Northwest Hwy. in Dallas, Texas. We’ll be in HalfPrice’s community room in the back of the store. Feel free to bring light snacks or drinks (nothing messy and no dark-colored or red drinks, please.).

More information about the party and other NaNoWriMo events in North Texas, see the DFW Rhinos Facebook page.

Don’t forget to register at the mother organization, for inspiration, prep tips, and information on how to upload your novel for the official word count.

So am I going to spend the next six weeks blathering about nothing but NaNoWriMo? Of course not! There’s way too much else going on in the local world, things like author readings, conferences, workshops, and more. I’ll use the heraldic emblem that illustrates this post for NaNoWriMo posts to give readers fair warning of the content.

Despite all the hoopla, I don’t intend to consider anyone, least of all myself, a failure if we fall short of the magic 50,000. But if 50,000 seems overwhelming, break it down. After all, that it’s only 1,667 words a day or 1,725 if you take time off for Thanksgiving, or¾ but we’re doing the math already, right? Every word is a victory!

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