I am determined to be a part of NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who don’t know, that’s National Novel Writing Month, where each November crazy people like me attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. I’ve done it three times, and have three books to share because of it. But there are some things I have learned from the process:
1. Write like the wind. The emphasis is on volume. Quantity, not quality. If you stop to correct constantly or check facts, you’ll never get done in time. But the flip side of that is, don’t pretend that when you have written your 50,000 words, you’re done. There are going to be major holes and faux paus in your book, and you need to then spend about six months fixing that stuff.
2. It is possible to write a book and have a life. Tough, but possible. The first time I did this, I wondered if I could do it and teach classes at the same time. I had come to the conclusion that it was impossible before that. But I discovered I could. My strategy was to carry my book on a flash drive and whenever I had 20 or 30 minutes, I would plug it into the nearest computer and write away. The first year I got my 50,000 words in 17 days.
3. Have fun. NaNoWriMo is not the time to write deep, thought-provoking, life-changing novels. It is a time to have fun. The first time I did NaNoWriMo was my first attempt at writing steampunk. And since I had never written steampunk before, I took a different tack toward it. I think it turned out OK, although responses to it have been mixed. But at least I had fun doing it.
This morning I checked my sales on Amazon, and once again Tom Horn vs. The Warlords of Krupp were second in sales among my dozen or so books listed there. I had always thought I would write a sequel, or even a series, but had held off because I had several other projects that seems more urgent. But with NaNoWriMo and sales in agreement, I believe it is time for Tom Horn to ride again. The first book included cameos by Mata Hari, The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Theodore and Eleanor Roosevelt, and others. This one will, well, you’ll just have to see it when it comes out. But I do anticipate Sigmund Freud and Nicola Tesla being part of the mix.
I will keep you posted on the project. It should be fun, and that’s what’s important.