Oops, I confess. I am a NaNo No No.
For those who don’t know, NaNo (a/k/a NaNoWriMo), is the National Novel Writing Month. There are numerous stories behind the creation of NaNo. If the narrative provided by Chris Baty in his NaNo handbook No Plot? No Problem! can be believed, NaNo started out as, a type of post college drinking game on July 1, 1999. Yes. July. And about the drinking thing? I made that up. Almost.
On July 1, 1999 twenty-one writer friends decided to write a novel. Nothing surprising there, they were each writing their own novel. It wasn’t a group effort. To sweeten the pot, they added a ticking clock. They would do it in a month. No Plot? No Problem! is essentially the story of that first NaNo, and a handbook of how to avoid their pitfalls. I highly recommend it. Even in non-NaNo months. My dogeared edition, paged foxed and yellowing, dates from 2004. They say there is a revised one, I’m not sure how you improve on perfection so I’ve skipped it.
My first traditionally published book, Death by Blue Water, was a product of NaNo. I don’t
claim perfection at the end of that November, but I had words on the page. 50,000 of them. Something I could work with. And work with them I did. By the way, the original title of Death by Blue Water was Diving Diva. Which explains my NaNo name… Mystery Diva.
So, why am I a NaNo No No? That long ago NaNo was my first and my last. Since then I have always had a book in final edits, due for release, in final draft, or another writerly commitment that made attending NaNo an exercise in futility. I signed up every year, but never even cracked the webpage. It wasn’t so bad, I was writing, but I missed the camaraderie that NaNo engenders. The creative synergy that develops when writers beat their heads against the wall in unison.
This year I was in final edits for the third book in the Hayden Kent series, tentatively titled Death Dive. Fingers crossed, in late October I signed on for NaNo. This isn’t my first book, it’s my fifth. I understand how long it takes me to edit. Right? Right. I realize it always takes longer than I think it will and this book was no exception. On November 9th, I sent Death Dive off to my editor, and flopped, exhausted, into bed vowing to write no more until the weekend. Here we are at the weekend. Saturday, I caught up on sleep. Seriously, a four-hour nap should help settle any sleep deprivation. Then today, blog writing day.
I will visit NaNo for the first time tomorrow. November 14th, and I will try to plow through my 50,000 words by the end of the month. Will I make it? I’ll tell you next month. It’s only 3,333.333 words a day, but whose counting!
Kait Carson lives in an airpark in south central Florida with a pilot husband, seven tropical birds, and six rescue cats. By day, she’s a practicing probate and litigation paralegal, in the evening, legal pads give way to a keyboard, and she spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the tropical heat. Kait writes two series, the Catherine Swope series, set in Miami, and the Hayden Kent series set in the Fabulous Florida Keys.
Kait loves to hear from readers, check out her website at www.kaitcarson.com; follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaitcarsonauthor, on Twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.