Oh dear, I’m 5 days late in writing this, and there is no doubt the participants of NaNoWriMo are already hard at work churning out their epic novels! For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo is held annually in November, and challenges everyone to write a 50 000-word novel within the month. This is indeed speed writing, and there’s no time for writer’s block! But for those despairing at the late news, it’s still not too late to get in on the action! Some people have finished their novels at the halfway point of the month, or even earlier. Sure, it may be harder for you, because you probably haven’t planned out your story yet, but the good news is that you don’t get much of a prize except a pictorial certificate congratulating you on beating NaNoWriMo, and an overall sense of pride in a job well done.
There are so many ways to cheat in NaNoWriMo, but because of that, people take it as a personal goal rather than a competition that they have to win. As long as you insert that 50 000th word you’re a winner, regardless of how your story compares to others. It’s so obviously a quantity-over-quality threshold that anyone can be encouraged to enter, and the quality of your writing will be judged by your friends or whoever is actually important to you. Besides, 50k words in a month? Nobody can expect too much of the quality.
Whenever I think of such long novels, my first thought is high fantasy, much like the Lord of the Rings. I would say indeed that fantasy has the most space for so many words, in order to flesh out the setting and the magic mechanics, but of course anyone can choose to go the historical route, or modern-day romance, or science fiction, or even introspective philosophy and other experimental types. The NaNoWriMo website on nanowrimo.org has a great forum with comprehensive sections for people to discuss the nuts and bolts of writing as well as chill out after they’re done, and among the genres listed are erotic fiction and religious spiritual fiction, and even fanfiction is accepted! An erotic adventure of epic proportions? Look no further than NaNoWriMo!
I must say that personally, I have never completed the NaNoWriMo challenge. November tends to be a pretty busy month for me, what with exams taking the top of my list. The moment I leave school, I shall make an effort to do this. It surely can’t be that coincidental that work happens to pick up in November too, can it? I wish NaNoWriMo were in December. I think if I get too vexed, I really shall make my own NaNo in December, or some other convenient month (realising that December is the month when I celebrate my birthday). Maybe there never is a month when I can settle down to write.
And this is the curse of city life that NaNoWriMo is hoping to bring to light, that we’re all such busy, rushing people, that we can’t even take out one month to write or do other things that we like. NaNo is more than just writing a lot, it’s a resolution for city folks like us to consciously remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle and stay true to ourselves.