A Novel In a Month? I Don’t Recommend it. Here is What I DO Recommend
(photo courtesy of Maria Kim)
It’s better to take the journey and experience all the beauty along the way than to muse about shortcuts.
You can write 50,000 words in a month, but you will not have written a novel, you will have put words onto a ream of paper. Yep, I have an opinion about the idea of NaNoWriMo. I get it, we need to encourage people to write, but let’s also encourage people to make meaningful art. We have enough things encouraging us toward immediate gratification, but we all know that evolution doesn’t consider word count.
Here is what I do recommend. Get a daily writing routine where you challenge yourself to write about the event that impacted you in that way that the movement of the glaciers impacted the face of the earth. Put somebody on notice like your therapist, priest, Granmama or whoever else is inclined to help you through a growth spurt, and start writing. What ever is left in your wake, will be meaningful for the rest of us, and where you end up will likely surprise you with its newness, grace and beauty.
If you start now, and write everyday, the journey might take 9 months to a year to get to the first draft, but what ever the word count, you will be a transformed creature when it’s all said and done.
Use The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript as your travel guide. You have to DO the whole book, but Part Two begins The Stepping Stones Exercise, which comprises 29 of the book’s 55 writing prompts and leads you on a life-journey of raw material for the full-length manuscript. See details below.
"There's one more huge reason to take your classes and workshops... You help us be *brave* in our writing." - Dee Stribling
"Just want you to know that I read and then danced the story I created during the last workshop I did with you about the passing of my father at the Third Friday Durham Arts Council events last Friday. I had vocalist Shana Adams sing as I danced. I felt so much support from the audience as I read and danced. " - Jody Cassell
"I have a better grasp on the importance of drawing on real-life experiences needed to validate even fiction." - Trina Waller