Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hello, I'm Writing a Novel Next Month!

This is just to say.

It's two days from November, which is National Novel Writing Month, which is the time when slightly crazed writers all around the world attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in exactly one month. I've done this before--I wrote my first novel, a something over 100,000 words monster when I was14, and then a few more the succeeding years. They were all very silly and absurd and nonsensical (and long), but that was the spirit of the project (and I was a teenager).

This year I hope my novel will be a little less embarrassing. Or maybe I just need to prove to myself that I can still do this. I've forgotten what it feels like, that delirious drive and focus, that sense of relief when it's the end of the month, or the end of the novel. Even though I'm a NaNoWriMo veteran, this year feels more uncertain than before, maybe because I'm feeling more ambitious as to the content rather than simply achieving the word count, maybe because I haven't been writing as much fiction lately, and certainly nothing of this scale. It is a bit frightening--but exhilarating.

So, I still have no idea what my novel will be about. I have no outline and no synopsis, not even the name of a main character or the perspective it will be in. Maybe it'll be a fictionalized autobiography--a writing professor told me once that maybe I have to tell the story of myself before I can write anything else, maybe something far more extraordinary and unlikely. Something about love and sex and violence and desire and loss, something about betrayal and despair and sleepless nights and empty subway trains, something about people--their pettiness, their kindness, their strange or comfortable lives. Something about the city and its secrets and layers, money and power and status. Something about dreams, something about loneliness, something about dreaming to escape it. Something about joy and something about grief. Something about fleeting beauty.

Maybe those are just what I perpetually wind up writing about, and I can't expect that in longer work I'd write about anything else. These are the questions and ideas that circle my mind so often that it's ingrained, and I've found that the best way to answer them is to write until something resolves itself. Maybe nothing ever resolves, really, but at least, I will have tried, and will have, with any luck, written a novel to suit.

Wish me luck!


  1. What's your profile username and I'll add you! I am in the same boat as you, I don't even have a whisper of an idea as to what I will be writing about (and that terrifies me).

    Good luck!!

  2. I'm brokennightmare on the NaNo forums (it's from years ago and I can't change it). It'll be a fun adventure and I'm glad you're embarking on it.

    Good luck to you too!

  3. That's Brilliant!
    good luck to both of you!

    Laura I would love to read the first novel you wrote, seems like a grand accomplishment even at age 14!