How to Become a Bona Fide Novelist in 30 Days.

I was going to try to lose ten pounds this month. Instead, I’m going to write a novel.

Really. Yesterday, in a fit of madness, I signed up for a little thing called NaNoWriMo—otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month.

What is it?

Well, on November 1, thousands and thousands of people start writing. By November 30, you’re supposed to have written 50,000 words—and completed a 175 page novel. Easy peasy.

But you know what’s really interesting? As of 9:30 a.m. yesterday, I didn’t have a clue what I was going to write about.

Now I do, of course (at least vaguely). Here’s my plot summary, as it stands now:

“When Becky leaves the big city (and her no-good boyfriend) for a job as a small town copywriter, she’s ready for some big changes… but turning up pregnant is more than she bargained for.”

If some elements of that synopsis up there sound familiar, it’s because I’m pulling from my experience (at least in part). After all, when you’ve only got 30 days to finish a book, you kind of have to write what you know.

So what do you think? Does it sound vaguely interesting? Would you read it, if trapped on a desert island with no other form of entertainment?

It’s only Day Two, so if you’ve been jonesing to write a novel, come on over and join the insanity. I’m amberpagewrites (of course) if you want to buddy up.

Oh and don’t worry, I’ll keep blogging away. I may not be blogging coherently by the end of the month, but I’ll be blogging.

Feel free to send encouraging words my way. Or  booze. Or chocolate. Or even all three! I have a feeling I’m going to need them all before this is over.

22 Comments on How to Become a Bona Fide Novelist in 30 Days.

  1. Jen
    November 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm (5 years ago)

    Good luck, sweetie. I chickened out so write a few words for me.

    • Amber
      November 3, 2010 at 9:09 am (5 years ago)

      You can have 500001-50009. Assuming I make it that far.

  2. Rose Morand
    November 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm (5 years ago)

    Go, Amber, go!
    I myself am not quite that ambitious. I’ve recently discovered that writing flash fiction is really fun and brings more frequent rewards (okay, and disappointments, too — but lots of action, anyway). If you need a quick fix, try
    Good luck and keep us updated!

    • Amber
      November 3, 2010 at 9:09 am (5 years ago)

      I have a friend who’s really into flash fiction. It sounds really cool. Maybe I’ll make that my December activity…

      And thanks!

  3. Kathy
    November 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm (5 years ago)

    I just signed up for NaNoWriMo and sent you a buddy request!

    • Amber
      November 3, 2010 at 9:08 am (5 years ago)

      I didn’t see it! What’s your user name? I’ll come find you.

  4. Jenn
    November 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm (5 years ago)

    Sounds very interesting! Can’t wait to read it … now perhaps I’ll head over and check out this NaNoWriMo …

    • Amber
      November 3, 2010 at 9:08 am (5 years ago)

      I’m not at all sure it will be fit for human eyes – but hey, it’s worth a try. Let me know if you sign up!

  5. Phyllis
    November 2, 2010 at 11:06 pm (5 years ago)

    Way to go Amber! Now I feel all inspired to go write SOMETHING! :) NaNoWriMo here I come…

    • Amber
      November 3, 2010 at 9:07 am (5 years ago)

      if you sign up, lemme know what your user name is and we can be buddies. I think blog posts totally count as writing though….

      • Phyllis
        November 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm (5 years ago)

        Gotcha! Gonna go check it out now…. Let the insanity begin!

  6. Elona
    November 3, 2010 at 12:42 am (5 years ago)

    A lot of people who write fanfic are all about the NaNowWriMo and it’s been pretty popular for several years now. You should put one of those word counter things in your blog that tells you what percentage you’ve completed.

    • Amber
      November 3, 2010 at 9:06 am (5 years ago)

      Nope. I don’t think I’ll do that, because then you’ll all know when I fall behind! Kidding – sort of. I have 2974 words so far…only 47026 to go. Yeesh.

  7. Andi
    November 3, 2010 at 12:49 am (5 years ago)

    Oh, friend, I am so proud of you! I was just thinking how I have no motivation whatsoever and then I see you writing your blog and your novel and working and raising your kid and taking time for you and. . . .

    I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Can I live vicariously through you and keep sitting on my ass doing absolutely nothing to further my life?!

    • Amber
      November 3, 2010 at 9:05 am (5 years ago)

      Oh Andi. This is only November 3. Come talk to me again on November 23 when my parents are descending, I have to cook a turkey and haven’t touched laundry all month…things are going to get ugly. But yes, you may. 😉

  8. Erin
    November 3, 2010 at 9:24 am (5 years ago)

    I LOVE THIS – I feel like that is how I start EVERY comment to you!!

    I CAN NOT wait to read your novel – don’t stop – I am desperate for a good book – a really good story – I want to read yours!!!

    I am going to sign up too – I don’t know if I really have this in me…but until last week I NEVER thought I would be able to run 6 miles and I did….so…onward to my half-marathon training and apparently a novel in 30 days!!

    I ABSOLUTELY thank my lucky stars that I found your blog:)

  9. AmyBlam
    November 3, 2010 at 9:39 am (5 years ago)

    Good for you! I signed up yesterday and started…oh, about 38 minutes ago. At 808 words, I decided I needed a twitter break. :)

    • Erin
      November 3, 2010 at 9:44 am (5 years ago)

      Enjoy your break…you are my break from “work” – which today includes – teaching coding in Visual Basic to HS students – creating a 60th birthday invite for my momma – and sending out Thank You’s for my son’s 6th B-day party (he actually wrote them out, all I have to do is address them…I guess some people think that is too much for a 6 yo. – whateve…)

      ANYWAY – I am really good at managing….for example – this comment has only taken me 7 minutes to write…and is an EXCELLENT use of my time:)

  10. Jen E @ mommablogsalot
    November 4, 2010 at 10:37 am (5 years ago)

    I think the synopsis sounds great – definitely sounds marketable enough to publish! I just signed up (yes really, four days late) not wanting to ignore a story idea just because I feel my time will be rushed. I figure even if I don’t finish on time, if it encourages me to write even a little bit more than I would have otherwise, that’s a good thing!

    my username is :mommablogsalot of course if you want to add me as a buddy!

    • Amber
      November 5, 2010 at 9:05 am (5 years ago)

      Following! Let the writing begin! I’m sure you’ll catch up— and you’re right, it’s just about the writing, not necessarily the finishing, although I really want to finish.

  11. Monica
    November 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm (5 years ago)

    I had no idea that November was more than Turkey, stuffing and Black Friday! 😉 All kidding aside, that is awesome and I wish you the best of luck…! Keep us updated!!


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  1. […] in November, I took a shot at writing the Great American Novel during NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish in the 30 days allotted, but thanks to the awesome ladies in […]

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