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50,000 words in 30 days

November 2, 2011

To write 1,666 words a day for each of the 30 days of November is my challenge. This is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

I have written various short stories before and reached a 6,000-word stalemate with a previous attempt at a novel so I have some experience in the arduous, frustrating process of attempting to write believable fiction. On each occasion so far I was able to bow out when it looked like my sloth-like progression had ground to a halt, but no, not this November.

Not only is the target very clear – 50,000 words by November 30 – but my progress will be held to account by my newspaper Cambridge First as I write a weekly column about just how much I want to cry, why none of my characters have names, and why my room has never been tidier. These factors should contribute to a driven, rock-solid attempt at bashing out a novel. Just maybe.

I only decided last Thursday I was going to give this a bash so, where others might spend October planning, I chucked together a few storylines on Sunday afternoon. This will no doubt hinder the early days of my month’s work but I’m quietly confident it will result in a more natural (slapdash) end product.

In short, you, dear reader, you, housemates, you, colleagues, you, friends, and you, God, must support me through this month of terrible, elongated sentence structure, sore necks, RSI, and rage. I am hell-bent on coming out of this at the other end with a novel, or as someone pointed out helpfully, ‘more a novella’. I will update my progress on here every now and again and may even throw some excerpts and choice quotes up, so, make sure you check back. Also, be sure to pick up Cambridge First for the censored progress update, and follow my 140-character cries for help.

See you in December.

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