Well, it’s come to that time of year again: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have a love hate relationship with November for this reason. This year, like the last two years I have attempted this, I have no idea what to write. Since here we are at mid-October I’m trying to be proactive and come up with something before Nov. 1 rolls around the corner and smacks me square on to my keister. The reason I keep submitting to the glorious torture of NaNoWriMo, other than that I fancy myself a writer, is that the first year I did it, 2004, I was able to complete the challenge of 50,000 words in one month. That in and of itself is what keeps taking me back to the wondrous suffering of the month. The idea that I came up with in 2006 was very half hearted and not well developed at all, and 2007’s effort was developed but probably not enough to carry my interest through to the end.
So, I have made the goal that NaNoWriMo 2008 I will finish. We’ll ignore the fact that that’s what I said last year. And the year before that. This month, I have been trying to prepare myself for the NaNoWriMo by writing unnecessarily verbose emails to friends, family, and coworkers, I find myself eavesdropping on conversations trying to think if it would be a good plot point or story line, and of course I’m totally writing off every idea I come up with thinking I couldn’t get a full novel out of it. Except for one.
When I was in college I took a course in Creative Non-Fiction. Most people make no differentiation between Non-Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction, but oh glory is there a big difference. What you find in text books and newspapers is Non-Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction is how one might qualify a memoir or travel writing for example. My professor explained it that the story is all based on fact and things that really happened but if you can’t remember all of the details (what someone was wearing, how many people were in the room, etc.) certain parts can be fictionalized as long as it is 95% factual and it had to “read like fiction”. I’ve been thinking of trying this for my NaNoWriMo novel writing it much like the book I am reading right now (Eat, Pray, Love) but my main challenge with that is I wonder if my life is really interesting enough to replicate on paper, and after checking my bank account I’m pretty sure I can’t afford to bank roll a trip of self exploration to a different country let alone a hotel for a night.
So I have fifteen days left to decide what I want to write 50,000 words about. Try it, it’s not an easy task.