Why I am doing NaNoWriMo

Earlier in the year I blogged about the reasons why I wasn’t partaking in CampNaNo and why it doesn’t work for me. Yet here we are, in November, and I’m signed up to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. Let me explain… 

Resurrecting an ailing writing habit.

I mentioned before that I have used NaNoWriMo to resurrect an ailing writing habit. This November, I aim to do so again. After a stressful house move, I got out of my groove. Although this wasn’t a bad thing. I got back into painting, looked after myself, got the new house in order, and made new friends in a town where I didn’t know anyone. My characters weren’t yelling in my head as often. I forgot what a quiet space the mind can be. I do yoga and meditate, but it is less about stillness and more about mentally wrestling with a character who thinks I’m not doing anything and this is a great moment to tell me about a new plot idea. So what has changed? 

I won a writing course! 

I poked my head into the cesspit that was Twitter and discovered Curtis Brown Creative were running a competition. Here’s a prompt. Write your best story in a tweet and we’ll pick a winner who’ll receive a six-week writing course. 

The prompt: Start with a mundane chore or activity, now write a scene set in a world where this has been automated via some advanced technology or new discovery. Focus on portraying an unexpected conflict that this advancement has caused.

My response:

I craved old fashioned detective work. Yet here I was, in an airless office, arguing with an ageing robotic cleaner in dire need of an update.

‘You cleaned the site of a murder. You disposed of the body! Where is it?’

‘I’m sorry, I do not understand your question.’

I kid you not, but I won! Now, I had to choose from several possible courses. Which would benefit me the most? Then I saw the Crime Fiction workshop

Can a pantser embrace plotting? 

I am a pantser at heart. However, I find myself writing a fantasy novel that’s twisting into a murder mystery. I have discovered I cannot pants a crime novel. The course began in November, and combining it with NaNoWriMo I saw this sudden piece of serendipity as an opportunity to revive my writing habit.

Going for the win! 

Am I aiming to complete a fifty-thousand-word novel? No. If I do, it’ll be a nice extra. The focus is the course and setting up a writing habit that I will stick to through December and into 2024. 

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