A little over 10 years ago, I published my novel, The Grave Blogger. That book’s first words were typed during NaNoWriMo several months before publication. I’ll explain what NaNoWriMo is in a moment, don’t worry. Ever since, for ten long years, I’ve had people occasionally ask the same question over and over again. “When will you publish a sequel to ‘The Grave Blogger’, Donna?” For a while, I’d respond that it would be soon, but as the years rolled on, I hated having to answer the question because eventually, it was obvious the answer would likely be “never.” I’ve disappointed a lot of people over the years, myself included.
I am going to write the sequel now! Really. Completely. No take-backs. No mind changes. Start to finish, I will write and finish it, guaranteed. I promise.
And I’m going to type those first words, once again, during NaNoWriMo.
Ok, now it’s time to tell you what the heck NaNoWriMo is.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is an annual event in which writers or would-be writers attempt to write a 50,000-word novel between November 1 and November 30. While 50,000 words sounds like a lot, that is actually a very short novel. Most novels are around 80,000 words. So if a participant “wins” NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve written their entire novel. But completing the novel isn’t the point. The point is simply to get started and to write, write, write. Because, let’s be honest, if you’ve managed to write 50,000 words in 30 days, there’s a darn good chance you’ll continue writing until it’s finished.
Perfection is also not the point of NaNoWriMo. The end result will likely be very, very rough, and that’s fine. Editing comes later.
So, back to the big news. I’ll start writing the sequel on November 1st of this year. It’s doubtful I’ll manage all 50,000 words in November because I’ll be at a work meeting in Denver for a week during that time, so that will cut out a significant chunk of time I could have dedicated to writing. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t care if I “win” or not. (Winning doesn’t earn you anything of substance…just some congrats, some digital badges, and some high fives). So, as I was saying, I don’t care if I win. I just want to get this book written. Maybe I’ll complete it this year. Maybe it will take more months to complete through next year. But it won’t take forever. I’d guess about 3-6 months to write, a month or two to edit/rewrite, and then a little time to get it published.
So to all of you who have been bugging me for 10 years, my answer is: VERY SOON!
And if you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, do it! Sign up for NaNoWriMo. It’s free and fun. And no, you don’t have to know how to write a novel. I sure as heck didn’t know how when I wrote The Grave Blogger. Just write. Who knows what might happen!