NaNoWriMo – It’s coming…what to do?

Audience participation needed for this one so read to the end (it’s not long) and leave a comment!

Well, it is indeed coming. NoNoWriMo, the national novel writing competition is about to start and I’m in a quandary.

On the one hand, it will be the first time I have ever been able to take part in the November competition, the aim of which is to write the first draft of a 50,000 word novel within the month. I’ve always done the smaller sister competition in July. It would be good to get another work of fiction done and ready to use and the competition would give me the challenge I need to do just that.

On the other hand, life is not so good right now – for me or for my family. If you’re a regular reader you may have noticed that some of my more recent posts have been quite sombre for much of the time (or as sombre as I get at any rate). Some of you also know why. The point is, I’m not sure NoNoWriMo is a stress I need right now.

But, I’ve got to be writing (that is my job now) and I’m so busy with article writing these days that my fiction writing (which was the reason I wanted to be a writer in the first place all those years ago) has really been on the back-burner. This competition would give me the much needed impetus to get writing the creative stuff again.

But if I do the competition what do I write? I’d like to write each part or chapter and put it up as a blog post each day. Then I could get feedback from you guys along the way in readiness for the second draft (and third, and fourth…). But what to do?

I did think about doing thirty chapters on thirty years of my life. Then I thought I’m not sure I want to get that raw and public about my life-story as yet. It’s pretty horrific in places. Still, I can think of ways to downplay some of the awful and still keep it interesting. I think.

Or I could do a fictionalised version which would be based on my life and people I’ve known, stories I’ve seen unfold, but would composite all that together into something that was ultimately fictional. Think James Herriot I guess, same kind of true/not true hybrid. could be much more interesting by the fact it would be much less about me and more about people I’ve known.

And on the James Herriot line I could do a series of connected short stories based on the teaching life. Again, fictionalised, but based on my experiences of twenty years of teaching in various contexts.

Or I could just write thirty unconnected short stories and not be autobiographical at all. I have lots of ideas for these and I would be interested to see which ones you liked and which you…liked lots! I could then make a book of the ones which got the best reaction after dealing with the editing and revising.

So what do you think? Would you like to see me do the NaNoWriMo challenge here on this blog every day throughout November? And if so, which of the above options would you be most interested to read? Please give your comments even if there’s a ton of them in the end – I’ll read every one of them and take note. If I don’t get much response then I might still do the competition but I’ll keep the draft private. So if you want to read it then you better say something right now!

About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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12 Responses to NaNoWriMo – It’s coming…what to do?

  1. Norah says:

    A new different short story every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fictionalised version based on your life and people you’ve encountered I think..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandie says:

    sorry to be so unhelpful – but I would enjoy reading anything you write!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. renxkyoko says:

    I prefer the unconnected stories. Well, not that I truly prefer them, but if you’re a bit uncomfortable with semi-autobiographical novel…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From you, I would be most interested to read “thirty unconnected short stories” or “a series of connected short stories based on the teaching life”.

    Liked by 1 person

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