Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So for my followers out there who don't know what Nanowrimo is, it's okay. I didn't either until today. I had a vague idea that something like this existed, but thanks to Frezned - or... Tom... whatever you want to call him - I recalled it.
Anyway, so NaNoWriMo is like DoWiSeTrePla in its naming, except for instead of Down Wind from Sewerage Treatment Plant, it is National Novel Writing Month.
And, of course, for a nerdy writer such as myself, this brings great joy.

NaNoWriMo runs from the 1st until the 30th of November, and pretty much the overall goal is to write a 50,000 word novel. Yes, that is a lot of words. That is approximately 28 copies of my last assignment. This 50,000 words will result in 175 pages, and lo and behold, a novel beheld!
The point of this, the NaNoWriMo site stresses, is not about being perfect, but just getting the words down. So it's kind of like freewriting an entire novel. I love freewriting, seeing as that's how most of my ideas work. The aforementioned assignment (1800 words approximately)? I wrote about 5000 words of pure insanity before I pulled apart the pieces I wanted and then submitted that. And these blog posts regularly get up to a couple of thousand words before I begin culling them. It's strange that way.
Anyway, the 'official' rules of NaNoWriMo are as follows:

  1. As mentioned, I must write a 50,000 + word novel during November. I have to get to this goal by midnight on the 30th.
  2. I have to start this from scratch... so I can't include any other prose I've written in this. I can, however, include characters, so this makes my idea easier (more on that later).
  3. It has to be a novel, i.e., a "lengthy work of fiction". 
  4. I have to be the only one writing this.
  5. I can't repeatedly write "sandwich" for 50,000 times. They have to vary and make a story. Nor can I write "ham sammich, cheese sammich, tomato sammich with avocado" because that violates rule 3.
  6. Once I adhere to all of this, I must upload this lengthy work of fictional prose to the site, between November 25 and 30.
So it seems fairly straightforward, and something that I am very much looking forward to. I mean, sure. I could write a novel. But it wouldn't be something I'd intentionally accomplish at this stage in my life.
I have a month to do it though. 
Anyway, to logistics.

So, Tash, what's the story actually going to be about?
Well, that's a good question, Random Questioner. I'm thinking this story's going to be the Carmen story that has been swimming in my head for the good part of 4 years. 
... who the heck is Carmen?
Carmen is Carmen Andrea Alejandra Vejar-Santamaria. She is a Pisces with a flair for the dramatic. Her mother is Peruvian, her father Chilean. When I first concocted her at about age 14, I created her with the thought of, "If I were awesome I'd be like her."
I don't say this to sound cocky, but now apparently I am like her. Go figure. So in this novel I'm also going to have to change her substantially, so I'm not writing myself. There's another challenge!
Carmen lives in the fictional town of Verona Heights. I imagine it being a suburb of Sydney. I'm undecided as to whether I do the 'high school' route, or - because I'm experiencing it myself and I'm trying to shut off all memories of my high school experience - the uni route. 
Any thoughts surrounding this, please share.
Carmen also has a pretty big family. 6 of them there - her father, Juan; her mother, Silvana; her older sister Magdalena and her younger sister Lorena; and her older brother, Arturo. Of course, there'll be a focus on the other family members (because in my experience, you're just not in a Chilean family unless you've got every single family member, quasi or no, harping on at you about something). 
...yeah, so, I asked about Carmen, I got Great Expectations, thanks for nothing.
[shrug] As we addressed before, I'm verbose. (We addressed that sort of subliminally.)
Whatever. So genre concerns now. Where are you planning on placing this?
I'm - yeah, start scoffing - a HUGE chick-lit fan. I mean, yes, I adore the classics and stuff. But what I love most is a good chick-lit read. I also like YA fiction. You get great stories there. 
So essentially, what I'm doing?
YA/Chick-lit, depending on the time-frame of Carmen's story.
And you think you can pull 50000 words out of this? In 30 days?
If Frezned can do it, I can. 
Well. Frezned has a significant awesome count, which I may not have, but it's all about perseverance. 

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