Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Blazing Hot Keyboard: 50,000-Word Novel in a Month





            This November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a rigorous challenge where writers from all over the world come together with the goal of completing a 50,000-word novel in a month.
            That's right, it's no typo: 50,000 words -- a total of 200 typed pages in slightly more than four weeks.
            I’m proud to tell you, I completed the challenge.
            Woot! Huzzah! And Hooray. I’m a NaNoWriMo "winner," which basically means each day in November I strung together almost 1,700 words or 7 pages of double-spaced copy to add to a Rough Draft --  the bare bones of a fictional story, which, I tell myself, holds the promise of becoming something awesome, perhaps even a best-seller given a bit of rewriting, editing and polish.
            Which brings up the question: Could my novel or any of the NaNoWriMo novels actually get published?
            The answer is YES, absolutely. Here are 13 participants who have tasted that success:
                    1. Amelia Atwater-RhodesPersistence of Memory (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2008). Contact: randomhouse.com/features/atwaterrhodes
            2. Jill BaguchinskySpookygirl (Dutton Juvenile, 2012). Contact: mintconspiracy.blogspot.com
            3.  B.A. BinnsPull (WestSide Books, 2010). Contact: babinns.com
            4.  Kathy Cano-MurilloLove Shine (Grand Central Publishing, 2007) Contact: CraftyChica.com
            5  Lisa DailyThe Dreamgirl Academy (Plume/Penguin Putnam, 2008). Contact: stopgettingdumped.com
            6. Delphine DrydenSnow Job (Ellora’s Cave, 2008), When in Rio (Ellora’s Cave, 2008), How to Tell a Lie (Ellora’s Cave, 2009). Contact: delphinedryden.com
            7. Terie GerrisonSpringFire and SummerDanse (Llewellyn Worldwide). Contact: teriegarrison.com
            8.  Sara GruenFlying Changes (HarperCollins, 2005), Water for Elephants (Algonquin, 2007) and Ape House (Spiegel & Grau, 2010). Contact: saragruen.com                  
          9.  Kimberly LlewellynCashmere Boulevard (Berkley Books, 2007). Contact: kimberlyllewellyn.com
            10.  Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus (Doubleday Books 2011). Contact: erinmorgenstern.com
            11.  Lani Diane RichTime Off for Good Behavior (Warner Books, 2004), Maybe Baby (Warner Books, 2005), and Wish You Were Here (Warner Books, 2008). Contact: lanidianerich.com

            12.  Vanitha SankaranWatermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages (Avon A, 2010). Contact: vanithasankaran.com
            13.  Anna SheehanA Long, Long Sleep (Candlewick Press, 2011). Contact: annasheehan.com
            I’m only listing 13, but you can find more at: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/publishedwrimos.
      And if you participated in National Novel Writing Month, I’d like to congratulate you! Fifty thousand words in just four weeks is a lot and making a daily commitment to writing pages isn’t easy. Kudos for stretching, for trying something brave and adding something new to your daily routine.
      I’m with you and I wish you much success.
            Did you pick up the Nanowrimo gauntlet? Did you take up another challenge? I’d love to hear from you. Please share.                

28 comments:

  1. I didn't participate, no. My challenge was just keeping on with what I've been working on already.

    Congratulations on your success - here's hoping you'll follow in the steps of those published post-NaNoWriMo!

    Happy TT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kimberly,
      I'd like to follow in your publishing footsteps. :)

      Delete
  2. Congrats to everyone who participated and completed their goals. Also congrats to those who sold their books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caridad,
      You've written and sold quite a number of books, too.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations! I also won NaNo. Don't know if any of my NaNo books will get published, though.

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  4. Kudos on winning NaNoWriMo. I really had fun writing my rough draft and I hope you had fun too.

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  5. HOORAY!! What a accomplishment! :) I joined the Nanowrimo party as a dissertation-writing rebel. Didn't "win" but I got three ugly chapters banged out which is enough to make me happy. Next year, a real novel I think!

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    Replies
    1. Getting any chapters done is good especially if you're also writing a dissertation. I'm clapping my hands for you.

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on finishing! I've never participated, but I know several who have and they loved the challenge. Well done! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stephanie,
      I'm always surprised when I come close to crossing the 50k finish line.

      Delete
  7. I did not pick up the NaNo gauntlet. Spent my time jumping from query trench to revision trench. Maybe next year, though I've never been a "I must write x number of words" each day kind of writer. Good luck to you though! *lifts imaginary goblet in salutation*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I noticed all your query work. I wish you all the best.

      Delete
  8. Congrats to all who accomplished this!! I kinda sorta tried, but it just wasn't the year for it. I had too much of my head still in the book I'd just completed. I kept going back to revise that one, and the month just kind of went...

    There's always next year though! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamara,
      Some years are like that. And if you've just completed a book, you probably need some rest/ recharging time.

      Delete
  9. Congrats on finishing. I'm winner this year. Great way to just get the story out. Learning to love revision. So many encouraging stories come out of Nano each year. Sometimes it is just the push needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Page,
      I'm learning to love revision too! Maybe we can be revision buddies.

      Delete
  10. *applause* for crossing the finish line, Mia! For me, this year's NaNo rough draft will be merged with a previous NaNo manuscript to form Book 2 in my dark fantasy series. I personally like the stream-of-consciousness stuff that comes to me during NaNoWriMo.

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  11. Julie,
    I like the stream-of-consciousness stuff too and I'm looking forward to your next novel.

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  12. Very inspiring. Two of them were among my fave books this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grin. Really? Two of them are my favorites too.

      Delete
  13. Congrats on your Nano! I've tried twice in the past and never quite made it, so I appreciate what it took to reach it. I tip my hat to you.

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  14. Congratulations! I tried it last year and didn't make it. Disorganized people like me should not venture into NaNo without an outline or some plot in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  15. congratulations!! i look at this year after year... and just could not bring myself to start.. maybe next year.. since reading about so many people completing this challenge as well as list of 13 is definitely inspiring..

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  16. Huge congrats on finishing!!! That's fantastic!!! :D

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