(It is not easy to participate in a NaNoWriMo but once you have started, you are on an exciting ride. Cartoon source: http://theideagirlsays.wordpress.com. Copyright @ 2006 Debbie Ridpath Ohi)
I have been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2008 and thus far, the experience has been one heck of a ride. Imagine the immense pressure of doing up to 50,000 words in 30 days.
Firstly where one can find the time to write down 50,000 words when you have very little time for work, family and pleasure. Nonetheless, it is a good challenge for anyone (not necessarily for good writers).
And worldwide, numbers of people participating in NaNoWriMo have been growing too:-
1999: 21 participants and six winners
2000: 140 participants and 29 winners
2001: 5,000 participants and more than 700 winners
2002: 13,500 participants and around 2,100 winners
2003: 25,500 participants and about 3,500 winners
2004: 42,000 participants and just shy of 6,000 winners
2005: 59,000 participants and 9,769 winners
2006: 79,000 participants and 13,000 winners
2007: 101,510 participants and 15,333 winners
2008: 119,301participants and 21,683 winners
2009: 167,150 participants and 32,178 winners
Thus far, things have been almost smooth for me to come up with a rough story for 50,000 words within a month and spend the next 11 months fine-tuning the story.
In 2008, I wrote, “The Malayan U Boat” which was a story about a German U Boat commander given a special secret mission to look for a futuristic submarine that runs on nuclear during World War 2. Basically, I combined my interest in military hardware, tactics and science fiction.
However, it was a very rough writeup and it took me about 2 months before NaNoWriMo 2009 to fine-tune the 2008 draft and finally published it in November 2009 with almost 52,000 words (almost a whole full year after I started with the first word). Of course, I could have started on the fine-tuning works earlier but I was lazy.
In 2009, after I have completed my draft titled “The Unexpected Mission” which narrates about a rich weapon dealer going back to see his old friend in West Africa only to find himself in a conspiracy. But this time, I promised myself not to make the same mistake that I did in 2008.
Fast forward to 2010, unfortunately, my 2009 draft remained as a draft although I managed to start editing work on the draft on an ad-hoc basis. Fortunately recently I managed to get more free time to work on my second NaNoWriMo and I am almost 80% complete with the first review. Another a few more days, I should with the rest and start with my second review of the content, well ahead of the NaNoWriMo 2010.
For 2010 NaNoWriMo, I have yet to conclude what area of interest I am going to write about. I am leaning more towards another science fiction which will also include the military perhaps in a more modern setting since I have done one that dates to the 1940s. If given a choice, I would rather write than type my story but there will not be effective to upload it online.
Whilst I am still on this topic, to my readers and fellow bloggers, how about it? Want to join me in NaNoWriMo 2010? Want to take up the challenge and see whether you can cross the 50,000 words line within a month?
The best part of NaNoWriMo is that you can write on anything topic (not necessarily on a story) and you can go at your own pace. Of course, to finish the adventure, you need to have at least 50,000 words by end of November. On the other hand, there is no penalty for failing to finish at the “finishing line” – after all, doesn’t the best part of the journey is the journey itself?