Hello out there in InspyRomance land! How are y’all?
It’s November now, and if you know very many writers at all, or follow many on social media, you’ve probably seen NaNoWriMo, or simply NaNo, come up.
And you’ve probably wondered what that is – and what it means to readers!
In short, it means BOOKS!
It’s National NOVEL WRITING Month. Authors are challenged to write a novel in a month. Just like it sounds. For NaNo purposes, they count a novel as 50,000 words. That is a bit on the short side (Love Inspired books, for instance, are just a smidge longer in the 50-55K range; LI Historicals are longer), but it is long enough to be a full story – or a great start to one.
The story goes like this:
In July 1999, a guy named Chris Baty and about 20 of his friends decided to write a novel in a month. The next year, they moved it to November. Out of 140 participants, 29 finished the 50K words. In 2001, 700 of 5000 “won.” According to the wiki, in 2010 a total of 2,872,682,109 words were written. A longer (and much more interesting! Seriously – you’ll smirk if not laugh a few times!) history can be found on the NaNoWriMo website.
Official NaNo rules are pretty simple. A new book. 50K words written between 00:00:01 on November 1 and 11:59:59 on November 30 (in your time zone!). Not co-authored. And it’s pretty much all on the honor system. Though they have an automated way to count the words in your manuscript, there’s no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you didn’t copy the same paragraph a few thousand times.
I first heard about it in 2007. I had an infant son who wasn’t entirely healthy and spent half of November in the hospital, including surgery. But, I attempted it. And managed to squeak out a win (that was probably the longest wedding ceremony ever written into a book ;). Every potential word spoken or repeated was in there :D.) – I had a group of friends cheering me on and they were as excited as I was to hit 50K at about 11:45 pm on November 30!
In 2009, I got serious and wrote my first actual novel (rather just for fun throwaway stuff). I want to polish and publish it someday.
2010: a romantic suspense I don’t talk about much ;)
2011: wrote the book that became my debut novel, Finding Mr. Write
2012: wrote the book that became Good Enough for a Princess
2013: wrote the book that became Winning the Queen’s Heart
2014: worked on Prince from her Past
2015: worked on what eventually became Ballots, Bargains, & the Bakery
This year, I’m being super ambitious. I’m working on learning to do dictation rather than typing it all. I hear stories All. The. Time. of people who write 3000 words or more consistently that way. We’ll see how it goes.
My ultimate goal, dictated or not? Two full rough drafts of 75K words or so each. The second and third books in the Serenity Landing Second Chances series are calling my name! I’m hoping to plow through the second one and then start on the third immediately. That would put release dates likely in January and March or so by the time the editing gets done.
It is doable. The fastest I ever wrote a rough draft was what eventually became Falling for Mr. Write in 13 days. 73,000 words in 13 days. That’s an average 5615 words a day. Next month, I’m shooting for 6000 words a day for 25 days (because birthday parties…and Thanksgiving…etc).
And if I don’t make it all the way through both? Hopefully, I’ve got at least one plus done and I’m that much further ahead.
Chris Baty did say this about his 2003 NaNo (when he wrote both a novel and No Plot? No Problem!, a nonfiction guide to NaNo): Which completely proved the NaNoWriMo maxim “the busier you are, the easier it is.
We’ll see if that maxim holds true for me this year. I’ll be blogging regularly about it over on my website. Usually it’s not much more than a daily update and short-to-medium-ish paragraph or two about how the day went, but it keeps me honest ;).
So for readers, in a nutshell, NaNo means authors go kinda crazier than usual, but there’s BOOKS! And more books are pretty much always a good thing ;).
To prepare for this year’s NaNo, I’m giving away a kindle copy of Discovering Home, book 1 in the Serenity Landing Second Chances series (or any of my other NaNo books if you’ve already read this one)!
Jonathan William Langley-Cranston IV has come to terms with the idea that he just might remain single and childless for the rest of his life. It’s not his first choice, but it seems to be what God has for him, at least for now. Until a chance encounter with a familiar face changes his outlook.
MacKenzie Davidson has been a single mom since before her daughter was born. Just once, she’d love not to worry about losing her job or what will happen if her fledgling yarn dyeing business doesn’t take off. A stormy night and flooded road bring the straws that finally break the back of her independent streak.
Her knight-in-shining-SUV comes in the form of American royalty. She’s read enough of the tabloids to know that’s how Jonathan’s family is seen and knows she can’t begin to measure up.
But when he puts everything aside to help her, her daughter, and her now-floundering business, she begins to wonder. Jonathan quickly comes to believe he’s found everything he’s looking for. Will they find their way to each other or will they be ripped apart before discovering home?