Sharpen your pencils. Open that new notebook. In just 17 days, it's November and that means National Novel Writing Month. To write a novel in a month means that each and every day without fail you will produce 1,700 words. Opening a Nano account is easy and once you have the account you have access to on-line help and support. You can access as much or as little as you want. There is a word count graph to track your progress and it gives you reports that include how long it will take you to complete your 50,000 words at your present rate. Sound like a lot of work? It is. I've tried a couple of times and I always bog down about 25,000 words. A bit of advice- if you're on a roll and can produce more than the 1,700 words one day, do it. Don't just write until your word count hits the magic number. Stuff happens and if you get behind, it's really hard to catch up. Planning? yes that's a really good idea. I didn't plan but sat down and wrote. I have 25,000 words of a mystery that's way too mysterious. I can barely follow it myself as it ping-pongs around. My second 25,000 words involves The Terrors in Ireland. Why??? you might ask. The attack on Bernadette Devlin, and her family (she had small children) has haunted me. The death of Bobbi Sands in his hunger strike does the same thing. I wonder how awful it had to be in Ireland to put your family and life in danger. You can guess that the concept was way too big and ahem, might require research. I'm not even of Irish descent.
This isn't to discourage you. Fine novels have started as Nano books. Examples are:
There are libraries and coffee shops where "write-in" opportunities are scheduled. This year the Wainwright Public Library offers computers and three chances to come and work on your Nano novel.
Check the library for dates and times.
No more excuses. Write that novel.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.