This November, I am going to write a novel. This means I am in high gear trying to figure out a plot, outline, characters, motives, and doing lots of research. Because I have to get to 50,000 words in just 30 days. Why, you ask? Oh, I hoped you would!NaNoWriMo 2012 Particpant


This is my second year participating in the National Novel Writing Month – or, NaNoWriMo, for short. The premise? Write a novel in 30 days. That’s really it. You win if you make it. You don’t if you don’t. You can plan, but not begin writing until 12:01am November 1. Last year, by some convoluted twist of luck (and amazing support), I swung about 51,000 words by November 29.

The community is absolutely incredible. There are dozens of forums, social events for people living near each other, online events, a place to connect with other people writing the same genre, or who are the same age. A place to ask all the experts out there about everything from adoption to having a big family to what kinds of weapons are made of silver. Anything and everything. I answered a few this week; one about large Renaissance Festivals.


Last year, I wrote a story about families working at a lighthouse in Canada (research: lighthouses in the Pacific NW, homeschooling, helicopters). I wrote a ton of short stories in high school and college. I had planned out my initial ideas of the story, some character quips, and just about finished my initial storyline…25 pages in. So it turned into a whole lot of craziness, more shipwrecks, weird family relationships, another emergency and a finale that came together like a giant movie ending, all the pieces very suddenly getting tied up with ribbons.


So. 2012. The year of attempting-to-actually-plan-this-time. So far my plot idea has serious potential to be novel-like in length. I am writing a crime mystery thing inspired by the fast-paced Dan Brown books I devour, thoughts from Bones and NCIS, and apparently am throwing a little old Terra Nova in there. Just a little. I have the NaNoWriMo trial version of a new writing/planning software called Storyist and bought the iPad version – using Dropbox I can sync my work between my computer and iPad. Which, for a writer, can be key. I will live with my iPad when I’m not home so I can add ideas when my supposed Muse strikes me over the head. Then, with Internet, I will sync this new writing or research to my computer. Psyched? Psyched.

What Am I Juggling?

A demanding job (40 hours – minimum, usually closer to 50/55); boyfriend who just moved a little closer but is just starting his new job; 8 days of November in remote mountains hiking sunup to sundown; researching grad schools and setting up applications/GREs; Thanksgiving festivities (my brother is finally coming home for a week from Hawaii – which is awesome – and also demands I spend lots of time with him).

How Will I Do It?

  • Love and support from you, my followers, friends, and family
  • Twitter Word Sprints: Last year, I used Twitter for a useful purpose (rather difficult for me to do) and did word sprints with other people. Basically word sprints are designated times (like, 6-9pm, or others, as many as will do it, and people sometimes pick up on their own if others are on) where someone says, “Write for the next 10 minutes, and tell us your word count when you’re done!” and you just write like crazy trying to get as many words as you can in the allotted time.
  • The fact that I’m publicly letting the whole world know what I’m doing, putting the pressure on to actually do it
  • Caffeine
  • Snacks

I have just a couple weeks (and a mad dash for a huge project at work) to outline my novel, title it, and run with it.

I know, you’re dying to know what I’m writing about. Save that for the next post. In the meantime…I’m writing a novel!