Sunday, 16 October 2011


My, how time flies! It hardly seems that long since I was preparing for last year's NaNoWriMo. I blogged about it then at:

For those of you who think I'm babbling (and who can blame you? I often do), National Novel Writing Month takes place every November and hundreds of thousands of people around the world join in — with the sole aim of writing a 50,000 word novel between the 1st and the 30th of the month.
There are many who sneer at NaNo, disdaining the amount of effort (and fun) involved. They see it merely as a waste of time, a dilettante's dabblings, a generator of crap. If you are going to write a novel, their argument goes, you would be better occupied spending your time in getting it right first time —not spending one month bashing out a load of drivel which you then either scrap completely or have to spend several more months,or even years, revising and editing.

Which rather misses the point.

Yes, you will write an awful lot of rubbish — even the founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty, admits that — but you also learn something while you are doing it.

You learn:
  • How hard it can be to write 1667 words a day every day — which you must to reach the target of 50K words by November 30th. I normally average less than 1000 words a day.
  • The discipline needed to achieve the above, and discipline is what it's all about if you seriously intend being a writer and earning money from your work.
  • The benefit of having a plot — or at least an outline — before you start.
  • The perils of procrastination!
  • And that the support and encouragement you receive from fellow NaNoers is phenomenal. Last year I had writers in the UK, Australia, Sweden and Colorado all cheering me on over the finish line. Which gave me a nice warm feeling to accompany the delight of 'winning'.

Whatever the opinion of naysayers, and they are many, at the end of the month the chances are you will have a darn sight more than when you started. You will have something to add to and edit, something concrete, something more than the fuzzy idea for a story that you had before you started.

Last year I had an absolute blast writing 'The Crime Writers PA', scraping over the line with 50,131 words on November 29th. Without the impetus provided by NaNoWriMo, it took me until March 2011 to finish it and it stands now at some 78K words before editing. (What my editor, Harry Dewulf at Densewords Editing Services will make of it, is anyone's guess.)

This year I'm trying my hand again with 'Organized Murder' which will be the next in what, I hope, will become the CWPA series.

So, if you were always going to write that novel you feel is inside you one day, why not make that day November 1st 2011? You'll find the link below and I can assure you that you won't be on your own — last year there were close to 200,000 people world wide doing exactly the same thing.

Either way, wish me luck. If I surface from my keyboard for long enough, I'll try and keep you posted.


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