National novel-writing month or as it is so fondly known NaNoWrimo.
One of the hardest obstacles a writer will face is not the spelling or the grammar or even the prose. It’s the ability to finish a lengthy piece of work. To cover an essay or a short story maybe even an article for a local paper Is very admirable and worth praise. The poems and sonnets that are injected to Facebook and poem hunter on a daily basis are beyond me and I hold my hands up and say I’m no poet. But to compleat a hundred thousand plus word novel is like a marathon of the mind. It takes sacrifice and dedication, and a belief in ones self that this story is worth writing down.
NaNoWrimo is a competition that is held every November across the globe. The premise is simple write fifty thousand words with in the month of November. No stopping for spell checking, prose or composition. Just get the story on the page as fast as you can. Then in December, January, February and so on you can fix any issues.
I love this as it tuck me over a year to write my first draft of my first novel purple. In taking so long to write you inherit continuity problems as well as character changes. Basically over a year my ability as a writer improved as did my writing. Sounds good and yes how could that not be. But it also made the rewrite more arduous, it’s hard to rewrite your voice. If I could have written it within says three months then it would have been more stable and I know this from things I have written since. They start and finish with the same voice.
So give it a go, fifty thousand words in one month. It’s great fun and if you sign up to the website there are many other writers willing to push you everyday. I will be there.
I have heard of these sorts of sites and facilities for writers before, Steve, and they look like great tools. As you say, it certainly is the main task of the writer to get the words on the page…I have always been a crap speller and believed, as with Shakespeare, also a crap speller in his alleged life (some say he never existed!) What are proof readers for? lol
For me poetry isn’t about the form so much, although the classic forms are great for contemporary poets to hone their talents and these forms bring out great beauty in the rhyme schemes from the past, but it is more about getting the emotions onto the page, and often they just seem to flow into the form…free form poetry as well as freewriting prose, is a blessing imho. This site you highlight would be good for me to organise my writings of the past several years…bringing the great swathes of segments of stories, into a cohesive mass of a book, no matter the length, it is certainly keeping the momentum and imagination of the reader, that makes it a success, commercially speaking, of course. On the various creative writing courses I have attempted over the years we have been working on up to 5000 word stories or chapters of books. 50,000 is a biggy.
I agree, practice makes perfect sense, the more we write, the more we learn and hone our writing skills, but the story always comes first! A very interesting post again.
Best of luck with your submissions and writing career.
Smiling at you
Cousin Bobby x
I love this: “.. to complete a hundred thousand plus word novel is like a marathon of the mind. It takes sacrifice and dedication, and a belief in ones self that this story is worth writing down.” Well said!!