a weblog for readers and writers

Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Monday, August 27, 2018

Do you Wri Mo?

No, that's not me asking whether you "write more" with a bad accent. WriMo is short for NaNoWriMo, which, in turn, is short for National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November, is a time when thousands of writers attempt to write a novel of 50,000 words or more. It may sound crazy, but if you're a diciplined writer anyway, NaNoWriMo can be a good tool to motivate you to apply pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

I should know: I participated in NaNoWriMo five years in a row, from 2003 to 2007. And I was declared a winner each of those five years for completing my 50,000+ word novels. In fact, if you do a search of "NaNoWriMo" in this blog, you'll find several past references to the days (more than 10 years ago) when I participated.

By 2008, I realized I had too many rough drafts (dating to well before NaNoWriMo) and not enough polished manuscripts. I decided to focus more time on revising.

NaNoWriMo is a good exercise to get a rough draft on paper. But after NaNoWriMo ends, the real work begins: rewriting, revising, and turning your slung clay into a fine sculpture.

Tracks: A Novel in Stories and Womb: a novel in utero found their origins during those NaNoWriMo days. 

It's amazing what you can accomplish if you unplug and cast away the things that usual keep you busy for a short period of time. I discovered that to a greater degree during my residencies at The Art Institute of Chicago's Ox-Bow. During one of those 2-week stints as Ox-Bow's Writer-in Residence, I did a rewrite of Womb. During another, I wrote a 350 page rough draft of an as-of-yet unpublished novel: Setting the Family Free.

So will I be doing NaNoWriMo this year? Probably not. Because I'm going to do something that even I consider crazy. Ever heard of the Anvil 3-Day Novel contest?




Blogger Pat Dilloway said...

Writing a novel in 3 days sounds pretty difficult. Of course I have a day job so it'd be pretty impossible unless I did it this weekend.

August 27, 2018  

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