November Challenges

What would you say to writing a novel?

I expect you’d say it sounds nice but how would you fit it in?

So, if I said you have to write it in a month that wouldn’t sway you?

No, me neither.  But some super-writers are having a go, and for most of them I get the distinct feeling it isn’t the first time.  This November is National Novel Writing Month, stunted to the ugly NANOWRIMO.  Hmm, catchy.  Where you’re expected to write 50,000 words in a  month.  No, you’re right, that isn’t a novel, or at least it’s a very short novel, but I’m sure the people at NANOWRIMO would reply – feel free to write more! 

Craig Pay isn’t taking part, and what with the MA I don’t know now if I’ll bother.  I would have done it to meet like-minded individuals – They are using space at MADLAB for intensive writing sessions starting on the fourth – but the group seems a bit tight already.  Lots of whooping and high-fiving over tales of how last year went.  So I might be skulking at home after all, scribbling short stories.

Last night I went on down to The Castle on Oldham Street and sat through a very pleasurable night of readings.  Bad Language is a collection of three writers who have been organising an entertaining open-mic type night at the Castle for a year now.  I really enjoyed it, they have a Facebook page and meet one Wednesday a month.   The quality was great, and talk about value for money (it was free) there must have been ten or twelve readings. The headliner was Emma Jane Unsworth, local published novelist who read from her latest novel, and also an excerpt from a future novel.

Also regular readings are still taking place at The Octagon in Bolton, one tonight for instance! (you can ring the box office on 01204520661)

So, there seems to be lots of writing being done, whether you plan to lock yourself away for November, or not.  I will be ambling along, and since I write a lot when in the mood, I might dash off 50,000 without meaning to.  It has been heard of.  What stops me signing up in a formal kind of way, is ideas…and stamina.  The two are needed in bucket loads and after a few months writing short stories and poems I’m not in practice.  All I can say is good luck to everyone who has a go…and the disconcerting news…that the real work begins after you’ve written the 50,000 words (in my experience)

Also good luck to those who grow their facial hair for November in a bid to raise awareness of testicular cancer.  Someone at work this morning announced they’d just been diagnosed, and since I grew a month-long beard for October Project Day Zero, I might as well keep it for another month in support.  It is, after all, keeping my face rather warm.

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