My Month as a Novelist

December 1, 2010

I’d been noticing newspaper articles about National Novel Writing Month for several years now, and from the beginning it seemed to me an interesting thing to try. Trouble was, I was never aware of the thing until well into the month, when it was too late to start. This time though I managed to keep the notion in my memory all year, so when November drew nigh I was able to get into the thing at the start. I registered as a participant at the end of October, and by Nov 4 or so I was able to clear enough time to type out my first installment.

So now I have a 50k word draft of something that I can at least imagine working into a readable, maybe even publishable novel. So? Is this something I really needed to do? Well, the thing is that it’s something I’ve always liked to think I could do, and now I know I can. I’ve always been good at thinking things out in my head, things like plot ideas, commentaries on things I’ve read, almost anything that could be put into words; I seem to impress people as being articulate, and capable of sometimes producing a striking verbal effect. The big issue for me has always been Sitzfleisch. I’ve never been good at sitting and writing anything longer than could be written at one sitting. I do my best thinking on long walks.

So to have 50k words, written over the course of a month, embodying (I hope) a somewhat coherent story line, describing characters with at least a minimal biographical plausibility, is a personal triumph.
Moving forward, I think I will work on it now and then, try to turn it into something I could in good conscience ask someone to read; but my immediate answer to the question “what next?” is right here. I have resolved once again to resuscitate this blog! After all, if I can spend even half as much time working on daily or near-daily blog posts as I did on NaNoWriMo, I’ll have a real oeuvre in a matter of months. And since now the blog is available to all my friends on Facebook and my followers on Twitter, (I’m not sure how the latter will work, I imagine the system will generate a Tweet containing a link,) I can have some reason to expect that someone will actually read it.
Which also means I’ll need to learn more about blogging, as well as social media…
I feel like a new person almost. This is cool!
More about my nano-novel and what it was like to write it tomorrow. OK?


2 Responses to “My Month as a Novelist”

  1. Jayadev Says:

    Lol — Sitzfleisch. I used to have a problem with butt-numbing until I raised my Kundalini a tad higher. I am impressed by your accomplishment, Peter, and inspired. If I haven’t finished current projects by next November I’m signing up for this deliciousness.

  2. Jayadev Says:

    Oh, also have always wanted an excuse to mention that you and I, Peter, have neighboring birthdays — May 28 and May 26. Checking the lists of the accomplished sharing those birth dates show some known to be quick on their feet: for you, Jim Thorpe, Ian Fleming, Gladys Knight, Thomas Moore (Byron’s pal, not the other one) and for me Al Jolson, Miles Davis, Peggy Lee, John Wayne. Loves me some parlor game fun.

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