Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Plot? No Problem!

Well, as I've mentioned (as mentioned, and mentioned-- I know!) I recently completed the challenge of writing "50 Songs in 90 Days" for my 3rd year in a row.  I was really happy during those 3 months of concentrated creativity.  I was ready for it to be over after 90 days though.  But now, almost a month later, I think I'm up for a new creative challenge.  Something I've never done before. Something that scares the poo out of me!

So I've been kicking around the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo, a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month.  And the chosen month just happens to be November, which is less than 2 weeks from today! 

I'm an avid reader, and I've read a lot of novels, but I've never written one, or even thought of an idea for one. 

Which is why I checked out the book (written by the founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty) No Plot, No Problem. I've just started reading it, trying to get my mind wrapped around the idea of writing a 50,000 word novel next month.

I'm comfortable writing songs.  And short little blog posts.  But something as long as 50,000 words sounds impossible to me.  Which is probably why I should give this thing a shot.  At this point, I'm a "Someday Novelist".  As in, "Someday, I just might write a novel."  Well, I know from experience, there's nothing like a deadline to get yourself moving, or in this case, writing.

I like the fact that the expectations of writing anything good in such a short time are extremely low.  Ernest Hemingway said, "The first draft of anything is shit."  Well, if that was Mr. Hemingway's experience, than I will be in good company!

If I don't make it to the 50,000 word count, I won't necessarily feel like a failure.  Even if I just get to a fraction of that number, it will be a longer story of fiction than I've written since I was in school. Which sometimes feels like a hundred years ago.

At this point, I have no ideas for characters, setting, plot-- anything.  But that's okay! Because as Chris Baty says, "No plot, no problem!"

18 comments:

shari @ little blue deer said...

That is such a cool idea! Go Kerri, you are just a ball of creativity! XX!

bobbi said...

go girl!! This is great. I am an avidi reader too, and I alwaus dreamt about being a writer. In school I used to write short story my teacher were crazy about, but there are so many things I want to do...I do write. I keep a journal wich is my very private novel. But i hate deadlines, that's my problem, so I can't committ to a lot of projects. Good for you and with luck!!

bobbi said...

I meant good luck.

Jo said...

Gosh, you do truly like challenges and this is yet another humungous one! Very appealing though, so many bob over and check it out myself!
Looking forward to seeing how all this develops... exciting!!!
Hugs xxx

carol gourley said...

Kerri, that's sound like an amazing adventure! I'd love to do something like that some day. You seem to be committed and ready for the challenge. Way to go!

Kerri said...

thank u all so much for the encouragement. i realize tho, this endeavor may be crazy and a little too much for me.

if anyone else is interested, check out the site and think about signing up. i'd love to have some buddies in my madness! :)

lori vliegen said...

it sounds to me that you've already gotten over your first hurdle by just making the decision to even consider participating!!!! you go girl!!! i agree that writing so many words sounds overwhelming, but maybe if you think of it as a "series" of small blog posts, just continuing the theme every day.......just a thought, anyway! good luck, sweetie!! xox, :))

Melissa Sarno said...

WELL! You know why this announcment excites me so much :-) I have considered doing NaNoWriMo but I'm not sure yet if it's the right thing for me. But I know a lot of people who have done it and found it to be a great experience for them. If you have dreams of 'someday' writing a novel, the best thing to do is write one. I had the same dreams and a few years ago I decided to go for it. And now I have a novel! Who knows what will happen to it, but I have it. So I support your journey and will encourage you the entire way. WOOHOO!

Kristin Dudish said...

Fantastic - Go for it!

(I've signed on for a similar challenge for November except with painting!)

Good Luck!

Suzi @ u2rblessed said...

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, good luck. My friend is a writer and I do not know how it does it. http://rcameroncooke.com/
Deadlines are a drag but on most days, he loves it.

danielle said...

You have guts of steel! Your courage is SO inspirational. I have friends who have done this and they LOVE it! I am cheering you on for your next challenge Kerri. So excited for you! xo

Roberta said...

You go girl...I've seen alot of people try this and it does sound interesting...my only dilema...why November? Such a busy time for most with the holidays, etc. But you do have me thinking about it again...hmmmmm

Kerri said...

well, roberta, apparently they originally did it in july, but moved it to november, when the weather is cold- (he obviously lives somewhere other than dallas) in the book, he says you could really pick any month you want, but of course, i want to do it when a gajillion other people are doing it and there's an online community set up for it during november at the nanowrimo website.

he breaks it down in the book and basically says you need to carve out around 2 hours a day to do it. it could be pockets of 1/2 hours even.

maybe you should do it!!!

Jadyn said...

Wow, Kerri, good for you for taking on this challenge! I hope you'll be sharing some of your writing like you did with your songs. Good luck! Keep us posted.

Robin Norgren said...

Writing fiction is incredibly daunting fo rme! But I will say that I tried this challenge about 4 years ago and made it to about 15,000 words. But the beauty of it was the exercise "unclogged" the old thoughts about "I cannot just sit down and write"-YES YOU CAN!

erin carver said...

Go Kerri!! What an amazing challenge and you are so NOT crazy...you are inspiring, it is all totally possible for you... and your 'some day' is today! :)

Rob said...

Look at you go! Sorry i haven't commented in a while Kerri. I have popped and read a post or two though.

So you're getting into the NaNo fray. Good on ya.

I've been kicking around the idea of doing it myself. I tried it a couple of times but got derailed by life both times. Sounds like the title to a song doesn't it? :) "derailed by life"

Anyway, if I decide to jump into the NaNo pool this year I will certainly let you know. At least then I'll have one writing buddy.

Sharon Creech said...

Go for it. A first draft doesn't have to be good. You fix it later. You make it GREAT later. Have fun with it.