November is a month of excess and excitement: election day, meteor showers, Thanksgiving, black Friday, and extreme feats of writing. That last one may not ring a bell for everyone, but for tens of thousands of people around the world, November is National Novel Writing Month, or, for expediency's sake, NaNoWriMo. It's a month-long writing challenge put on by a non-profit in Oakland, in which participants write a 50,000-word novel in thirty days, ignoring their inner editors and focusing on quantity instead of quality. It's also a month full of social events, writing challenges, and plenty of goading from novel-writing peers.
I visited a write-in at a coffee shop in Walnut Creek earlier this month, where about a dozen novelists gathered to offer each other support and also check in on one another's word counts. Here are excerpts from a few of the authors.
Erika Oglesby is working on a science fiction story for young adults. These are the opening lines.
This is the fourth year Chris Williams is writing a manuscript for NaNoWriMo. Listen to a brief excerpt.
Claire Hayes is ten. She's writing about a girl who loses her parrot, but finds herself. Claire reads a short excerpt.
NaNoWriMo continues through the end of the month. If you haven't started yet, you probably won't write 50,000 words by midnight November 30, 2009 but you can start planning for next year.