NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, popularly known to the participants as NaNo (though I would prefer WriMo because it’s more a Writing Month and a National Novel. Is the name appropriate, though? I will come to that in a while.) is a global event, (that’s why I will discuss that again!) for the aspiring novelists. Thirty days of work for at least 50,000 words, the golden number for something to be called a novel – did not know before I signed up the event! That’s what NaNoWriMo about.
On October 17 of the year, I saw a post from Rashmi Menon on Blogging 101: Alumni, a forum of WordPressers. I clicked the link and there I was, where I could have been earlier if I had not been confused by the name of the event (it’s irresistibly coming up again and again). Anyway, I signed up. I already had something on my desktop that could be a novel, but I had no plans for it. So I decided- within five minutes since I signed up- that I would write on novel based on a short story I had sent to the Fiction Park section of the Kathmandu Post, but had never been published.
That was the beginning of it. Once I decided what I was going to write (type for most of the part), I built up some characters and drafted their personalities, thanks to an ebook, Crafting Unforgettable Characters, I had downloaded from K.M. Weiland’s website. On the first day of November, I started writing. About twenty six hundred words I typed that day. (Never broke the record. Such enthusiasm! Phew.) And then with the short story I used, I quickly moved to a higher word count than most of my buddies in the website.
Days went on. Managing at least 2,000 words per day, I was cruising slow and steady. Among my buddies, only Kristina Van Hoose was ahead of me. (She was updating her word count at rocket speed and was the first among my buddies to reach the golden number! I can’t really tell how she managed it.) From the second week of the event, festival of Tihar gripped me. The festive mood did affect me, and I was slowed down.
The third week was terrible. College had commenced after the vacation and I had an exam. While focusing on that, I lost hours of time for creating the novel, but whatever time I got, I crawled along. By the end of last week, there have been horrible things. Power cut off, college time, and assignments, all reducing the time I sit in front of my computer. That was when I got traditional. I began writing on a exercise book. And that had its own perks.
Sitting in front of the computer, adding new words to the novel, I have heard complains from my parents and my little sister. Ignoring their talks and discussions, keeping aside the political issues that enrage me, and keeping aside the matter of the fuel crisis going on in the country, I wrote and wrote. I finally reached the golden number in time, but there was a big problem: HOW DO I VALIDATE?
At the end of the 50,000 mark, the website asks to validate the novel (an official word-count) to declare the participant a winner. Now that I wrote the last few parts in a copy and that I can neither scan nor type within the last moment of the event, I don’t know how I will be declared winner by the site. Therefore I decided to declare myself a winner. I even got a feast. Well, actually that was because of the birthday of my mother.
Typing a novel from an unknown location (for the site; Asia: Elsewhere in Asia), updating the word count every hour from a computer that can break down any time, I have learned one great lesson: Novels come out of great effort. Novelists are just as crazy as my father thought. One month is an extremely short time for a quality novel to come out (mine has not finished yet), but it’s an initiation and a great experience. It’s time I get out of the hangover now. (It’s also a high time I get acquainted with all new WordPress, which my friend Anish had said some days back, had lost its word-count on the editor. I saw it while scrolling down. How excited I was seeing that!)
Wait, did I forget something? Oh, yeah. The name of the event of course! You must have noticed the contradiction while I wrote National Novel Writing Month is a global event. Had I known that the event was actually a GloNoWriMo (Global Novel Writing Month) and not only for the USians, I would have prepared myself. Would I have, though? That would definitely have made another story.