I have tried my hand at most types of writing – stories and novels, poems, songs, and non-fiction. Fiction and poetry were my earliest forms of expression, but despite my early stories, I have yet to master the short story. Often people assume this is one of the easiest forms of writing, but for those who do it, they know that it is quite an art, all of its own. The ability to create a strong plot, with movement and character and a satisfactory ending all within a couple of pages is quite a difficult task. You can’t take your time building up characters or playing with sub plots, exploring back stories – you have to get right into things and yet still make them believable, still give them depth.
However, after several false starts and half-finished projects, I have, in the past few years, managed to write some first drafts of novels. Much longer stories.
But only in November.
The aim of National Novel Writing Month is to write a first draft of a novel in a month. 50,000 words in 30 days. And it takes place in November. (I could just as easily have chosen ‘November’ for my N!)
I’ve taken part four times now, and each time managed, somehow, to produce 50,000 words in 30 days.
I had a break last year because we’d just moved house, and writing an entire novel as well as unpacking all our boxes was a bit too much!
The novels themselves need so much work I don’t know how I’m ever going to find time to get them up to scratch, let alone think about publication, but that’s not why I do it.
I do it to see if I can, in the first instance. It’s hugely encouraging to me as a writer to find out that I can write that amount of words in a comparatively short time.
It’s also a nice change – as someone who writes mainly non-fiction, a foray into the fictional world is a bit of holiday from what I usually write. I tend to feel refreshed and ready to go back into other forms of writing when I’ve done it.
It can be tough, but I’m always glad I’ve done it.
Part of my writing course has been to plan a novel. In November, I’ll see if I can actually write one.
A to Z posts – reflecting on my writing journey
A to Z theme reveal
A is for … acorns
B is for … bricks
C is for … change
D is for … dreams
E is for … empathy
F is for … forgetfulness
G is for … gifts
H is for … hiatus
I is for … imagination
J is for … jewels
K is for … knowledge
L is for … living
M is for … meaning