Monday, November 4, 2013

How NaNoWriMo is like being an alien…

Courtesy of National Novel Writing Month
From:  Maureen L. Bonatch

If you’re not a writer, perhaps you’re not familiar with the term NaNoWriMo.  The first time I heard it several years ago what immediately came to mind was the old television show that got Robin Williams started down the road to stardom (Mork and Mindy)--- the nanu-nanu handshake.  (Now you’re either nodding as you take a stroll down memory lane or wondering if that is really coffee in that cup beside me.)  

I loved the show, until they introduced the full-grown adult baby, Mearth, which hatched from an egg.  Then it just got weird.  Not that it wasn’t weird from the start, or that I stopped watching it. I stuck with it until the end, like a book, or committing to NaNoWri, because I hate to give up on something (and I apparently love to say NaNoWri). But…I digress, I’m a writer so I’m allowed to do that.

In fact digressing is kind of what NaNoWriMo is all about…oh, and writing.  50,000 words for the month of November to be exact; National Novel Writing Month. 

Although participating is somewhat like being Mork from the old television show, blindly leaving on a quest to explore new places/worlds, moving at the speed of light to reach your destination.  NaNoWri is a seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing.  
Some of my 'storyboards'

As a gal who has hates outlines (and favors pants), that’s what I’m talking about!  The closest I’ve come to real outlining a story is using my own kind of storyboard, but that pretty much stems from my love of all office products and gives me an excuse to go moon over more at the store. 

Cinnamon getting ready to start her story
No stopping, no editing just writing! No qualifications to begin...anyone can 
do it! 

Okay…you might at least need opposable thumbs. (But don't tell Cinnamon that)

Last year there were 341,375 participants! Me, being one of them, granted I didn’t finish that year, but this year… 
Laken and Yasmine 

“I’m going to win this year.”  I tell my twelve-year-old twins.
“What do you win?”  They ask.
“The best feeling of meeting a goal and a new novel completed!”
                      Twin. Blank. Stares. 

(Okay the pic doesn't quite do justice to the 'blank stare' that a tween can assault you with, but it's very elusive if you try to capture it, like my attention span.) 

Apparently my reward didn’t compare to the cash and prizes they envision when thinking of ‘winning’ a contest.  But there’s so much more there that I can’t adequate describe---except that it’s filled with tons of like-minded people, enthusiasm and the love of a good story. But don’t take it from me, check out  NaNoWri

So if you’ve made it this far in my post, you’re kind of getting the gist of writing without heavy editing—like you can do for NaNoWri.  Because it’s fun to let your mind wander and see where it takes you. …Look! Something shiny…

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there.  Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day.  Others are called writers and they pretty much do the same thing.” 
~ Margaret Chittenden

Join me in the madness at NaNoWri:  mmmmmm6
(Don't worry, it's only a few days in and you can be fashionably late..just write faster ;)

For a peek into my writing voice and some humorous stories about being a mom to twins check out: My blog   


Veronica Scott said...

I don't NaNo myself but I love reading about it! fun post (love the guinea pig)!

Maureen said...

Thanks Veronica- the 'pigs' are surprisingly photogenic :)