Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo - WTF?

I hadn't heard of it either, until yesterday. But something led me to it. Like the fate of the cows to the slaughter. I have been thinking that perhaps a wee break from screenwriting wouldn't be a bad idea. I've been wanting to write a book for a decade now. But it's daunting for a screenwriter. Where's the structure? Where's the snappy dialogue and the craft of minimal phrasing with maximum punch. There's the fear that I would ramble endless given the freedom, and at some point forget what I was even talking about.

What was I talking about? Oh ya... writing a book. SO a friend told me that November is "write a book in a month" month. I googled, and found this NaNoWriMo site. There all these people all over the world who are peeking with excitement, forming community groups in their regions (yes, there are over 900 New Zealanders on the band wagon!) and preparing to write a book in 30 days, along with over a hundred thousand other international writers. Woowza.

I was intrigued. I read a bit more... and then in a rush of reckless abandon, I signed up and have commited to writing a 175 page (50,000 word) novel in 30 days. I don't have a story. The book I want to write (eventually) is not one that can be rushed. Obviously, as it's taken me a decade to work out the story. It's an epic sci fi, and one that's near and dear to my heart, so 30 days is not going to do it justice. So what to write about for the next month? What to write. What.

My coworkers suggested various forms of stories about working in the visual effects business. It's something I know. Of course, it will have to be completely made up, and have no resemblance to any person, living or pixel, as I am not quite ready to retire (ie get fired). But it's given me some ideas, and this is where I'm leaning. I have 2.5 days to figure it out.

And then the madness begins.

Interested? Wanna take the plunge? It's just for a laugh. Like a fun run for cancer, but you're running for yourself, so that in the end, you have a book. It's basically a kick up the ass. No one even has to read it. It doesn't have to be good. In fact, from all I've read, it's supposed to be utter shite. A first draft. You win just by pouring the words into the word counter on the site. If you reach 50,000, you win! Along with everyone else who makes it. All cheering each other on. Good times. You know you want to.

If you do have a moment of madness and sign up, make me your buddy. I need all the encouragement I can get! And I'll do the same for you. My username is lysebeck.

On your mark...


  1. I have heard of NaNoWriMo but have never had the guts to join up. I would think about it this month, but I am going to be spending most of it in a Spaceship in the South Island with no internet. Or electricity, really. And I fully intend to spend most of the time getting sunburned.

  2. Wow. That sounds like a full on adventure in itself. careful of that sun tho! mighty strong round these parts...