For various reasons, I’m reporting the following news late: In April, I completed the first draft of the first novel in my YA series, AVS: The Anti-Vampirism Society. This is a huge accomplishment, considering I’ve been working on this book, and, to a lesser extent, sequels, for about 20 years. and I expect it to be the first full novel I will publish.
I accomplished this feat with the help of the April 2021 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) camp. Originally, NaNoWriMo was an annual event, held only in November. I thought it a horrible month to be expected to put together a first draft of a book. Working a seasonal full-time job, I couldn’t come up with an idea for a novel from scratch, then write 50,000 words in 30 days.
Only after NaNo relaxed its rules and created other options did I seriously consider joining in. The organization started doing “camps” during months that I found much more convenient and began allowing other goals besides completing a fresh novel in a month. Now other types of books are allowed, such as memoirs and collections of short stories.
I first took part in April and July 2017, revising portions of this same book. It was really freeing to finish my final chapters and not worry about having them critiqued or polished.
During the pandemic, NaNoWriMo’s goalkeeping and social encouragement have been online ventures. Besides the official website (address below), many of us utilized Discord. I joined a couple groups based on similar writing genres and goals and also started one of my own, called The Fanged Muse. I might get it going again if I join another NaNo month in the future.
NaNoWriMo can be a helpful way for writers to increase accountability and encouragement in ventures that usually require a lot of solitary confinement. I’m especially grateful for the ways it helped me get my current novel drafted. Having a complete draft is a big step. I’m so relieved! I set the novel aside for awhile so that I could look at it later with fresh eyes later. I hope things will fall together well when I revise the book. I will explore the possibility of pursuing editing goals in this upcoming NaNoWriMo.
If you want to take part in NaNoWriMo, now is a great time to get ready. This month has been labeled Preptober. The following video and blog are helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhM9772v3gk&ab_channel=HeartBreathings
NaNoWriMo’s official website is http://nanowrimo.org.