National Novel Writing Month
It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days – specifically, this November. So I have no idea why I signed up for it. But I’m posting this so I can’t renege.
Having put my name down already, I belatedly decided to ask my friend Donna Orazio, a Fairfield writer, why she’d done it a couple of years ago, and how she felt about it now.
“I did it as a challenge,” she told me. “I saw a reference to it on-line and decided to try to see if I could actually write 50,000+ words.” I think I’m doing it for the same reasons, so I asked Donna what the experience was like.
She told me that the hardest part was writing consistently.
“It’s easier to write a certain number of words every day, rather than trying to write just on the weekends.” She also told me that she had no real plot when she started, although she had an idea that involved three women whose lives become intertwined and there was a train setting.
Apart from writing consistently, Donna told me that, in order to succeed, the goal shouldn’t be to have a brilliant piece of writing, but rather a very rough draft. “I did no editing while I was writing. My goal was getting words on the page,” she said.
Although Donna didn’t do this, WriMo’s (as I believe they’re called) often like to write outside their homes, so they won’t be disturbed. In the past, Fairfield Library has provided a room for WriMos. Café’s are also a good idea, ( writer needs that caffeine!) although make sure you don’t outstay your welcome. If you’re nursing a latte for two hours, you may get some pointed looks. In Black Rock the Port Coffeehouse (http://www.portcoffeehouse.com/ ) is happy to host writers, and so is Las Vetas (http://www.yelp.com/biz/las-vetas-lounge-fairfield) in Fairfield. In fact, Andrew, a novelist disguised as a barista, told me he might even get his half finished novel out of the drawer where it’s languishing. The Chef’s Table (http://www.chefstable.com/contact_us.html) doesn’t mind if you hang around, but it’s best to do it outside their main rush hours. And, of course, Starbucks (http://www.starbucks.com/store-locator) everywhere welcomes writers. And Write Yourself Free (http://writeyourselffree.com/ ) at Colonial Green in Westport, also offers writers a place to write. In fact, Jane Green, best-selling novelist, wrote her last book there. There’s peace, quiet, coffee, and someone on hand to give you a word of encouragement if you need it. Call 203 858 8249, to find out when it’s open.
I asked Donna whether she’d done anything with her novel after the month ended. She told me that she hadn’t but since I’d asked her she was thinking about pulling it out and rereading it. “I know there are some very good stretches of writing in there and I like all three of my characters as they came alive on the paper.” Watch this space…