Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nano Rhino & other exotic literary creatures

So today's the day all serious, obsessed, curious and/or desperate writers take to their keyboards. Their goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by the last day of the month. It's called National Novel Writing Month,though when I first heard writers tossing around the abbreviation na-no-wri-mo I pictured a microscopic rhinoceros.

I haven't leaped into the fray, though it's appealing to think of joining all those writers around the world flailing away for a solid month, a literary flash-mob swimming the English Channel. I first climbed Mount Write-A-Book as a kid, and thrashed out the agonies of writer's block, schedules and work ethics on other epic works during my twenties. For better or worse, I have a stack of manuscripts (good, bad & ugly) to show for it. Now my goal is to slow down; I desperately need to learn the technical and structural elements I missed by not going to college.

But there's a headiness in blazing a trail through a complex story towards a deadline, sifting words from brain to screen or page. Crafting a whole novel--even if it never sees print--is a glorious achievement. This is the essence of Na-no-wri-mo. The thought of the myriad individuals crouched over computers makes me nostalgic the way women with tiny babies do...sometimes.

Ah, but I have an idea to join in, in a casual way: "my green-broke" YA novel-in-verse is partially done. I need it readable and reasonable by New Year's. So here's my personal challenge: a complete draft by the last day of this month.

This means writing  several poems per day. There's probably a month for that, but I haven't looked it up. It might even be this month. There are a lot of these events and they all have tongue-twister acronyms. A friend in my critique group participates in Picture Book Idea Month, or Pi-Bo-Ide-Mo, making up a new, solid concept for a picture book every day. She also does Pi-Bo-Wri-Mo. I bet you can figure out that one yourself. See? Isn't this fun? 

Another pragmatic critique group friend plans to stop procrastinating during November. She's christened this G'It-Fu-Do-Mo. Get It the Fuck Done Month. 

I guess that's what I've signed up for. All we need now is a website.

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