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50,000 Words in a Month

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November is National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in that time. Whether it's brilliant or dreck (or brilliant dreck), your novel-writing efforts are welcome.

From the FAQ: "People looking to write classy, complex novels should not participate. People looking to get extensive feedback and people who take their writing very seriously should also go elsewhere. Everyone else, though, is warmly welcomed."

If you've been mulling over a novel for a while, this might be your motivation to actually do it.


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Hey, now this is a good idea! I usually have to get someone to light a fire under my tail to get me going, and this seems like just the torch required (been writing for about three years now, and I've gotten two pieces out, one in Fuzzy Logic. That is a lousy record).

Thanks, Atara. I and a lot of other writers owe you for this.


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No problem. Someone posted the link on a forum I follow, so I decided to share. =)

I think I'm going to try and do 50,000 words of short fiction, and call it an anthology. My brain has always worked better when geared towards short and sweet, rather than long and verbose.

Only 1666 words a day. Easy, right?

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If you're itching to write something -- anything, really -- this could be the time to try "wild mind" writing.

Quite simply, you 1) sit down at the keyboard or with paper and pen, 2) give yourself one sentence or idea to write about, and 3) write or type until your fingers bleed, or set a moderate time limit to avoid total insanity. Don't stop to look at what you've written, or even to think...keep the pen, or your typing hands, moving!

The object is not to finish with a refined, ready-for-press novel, but to keep your mind constantly churning so that ideas can figuratively seep down from your brain, where they've been hiding, and leak out onto the screen/paper. (If it happens literally, call EMS.) You can pick and choose from what you write to form plots, images and such. Perhaps you'll serendipitously find a new avenue you've never considered!

Since this event allows "dreck", you should always allow yourself the room to write it! Pay no attention to spelling, grammar, syntax or even coherence during the exercise and go with the stream of consciousness. Remember...the only one who needs to see the final product is you. Leave the editing for another day.

I've tried this in a very limited scope at a reporters' workshop, and though I think our time limit was a little short, I was surprised by what I left on the page -- once I managed to regain feeling in my paw. :)



(after all, what better way to write furrily than with a wild mind?)

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Sounds like fun . . . but can't we make it October instead? I'm averaging 2000 a day this month, but I probably won't be able to do that November! :P

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About the author

Atara (Sarah Braun)read storiescontact (login required)

a phone jockey from Canaduh, interested in i like stuff.