And their off! Well not really. This is my first attempt at NaNoWriMo... and so far it’s going rather poorly. But I'll get to that in a moment.
I discovered NaNo much the same as I discovered TFC, randomly on the Internet. At the start of last year I decided that was going get more serious about my writing, because I was just having too much fun with it. I spent a long time sifting through the crud that is out there, and there is a LOT of crud on them Interwebs I tells ya. But I did stumble upon the NaNo site, and it instantly sparked something in me.
I recall when I was about 11 years old I said I was going to write a novel. So I sat down in my mother’s desk in the study* and began to write... After a few hours I had completed my first page. It was milestone I tell you**. It was also as far as that 'novel' went, but I have still always wanted to write. Although most of my teenage years and early twenties I did no writing, because I was having too much fun channelling my angst in other, less productive ways. But none the less, two years into my degree I discovered my love for writing again. I believe this was because there was such a large volume of forced writing going on, and I was constantly getting badgered for being too fancy with my essays.
Apparently political science essays need to be dry and analytical.
So when I found NaNo I thought, yes. I will do this. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to participate in 2009 as I was still studying and there was just not the time. But this is year is (should be) my chance, and now work is chewing up my time.
Now, to my story. The story that I am working on is actually an entry from TFC. Although the names of the characters have been modified to protect the innocent, here is the original submission. The story is about a young journalist who is trying to make it somewhere in world, and he's not getting far. Mainly because he is constantly given horribly boring stories to follow up and write about. But when he goes to Hawker, a small town in the Flinders Ranges, he uncovers something bigger than just a story. People have been disappearing in Hawke. The young journalist is lead on journey through the history of the area and the local Aboriginal Dreamtime. He discovers a secret that some of locals have kept since the town was established. The Akurra, a type of rainbow serpent, is not just a Dreamtime story but it is all too real. The town is divided and so is our hero.
I chose this story because it’s something that I want to write, basically. The Flinders Ranges is an amazing place. I have spent my life going there for camping trips and hunting trips and relaxing holidays. Climbing the peaks, crawling through the gullies, shooting, working as farm hand, underage drinking in the local pub and just spending time with friends and family. It’s a place I would love to share with the world. Also the people of that area are great, and everybody should know, or at least meet people like them. I think it’s a common trait you find with farmers and other people that live in outback Australia. Life is slow, they talk slow, and they drive really fast. Also, pub gossip is probably the best thing about country living. You can find out almost everything you want to and don’t want know about anyone and anything at the local pub. Everyone goes there and everyone talks. I really want to get that across with my writing too.
I would love to finish this novel, and I believe I will. Unfortunately I will not get anywhere near it during NaNo. This November just happens to be the busiest November of my life. I am attending a buck’s show, a work Christmas party, a wedding, and an engagement party; that’s a large event for every weekend. Not to mention summer is beginning here and everybody wants to spend their money, which evidently means I am busy at work. These are however the uncontrollable facts which are hindering me. There are many things I could have done to help myself, alas... I did not do them. Because as this is my first attempt I also didn’t realise the immense scale of this venture, and did no real planning. So I was behind the ball from the start, because for me planning is a must. Why I thought I could do this differently to everything else I write, I don’t know. While I will not finish in November will press on and spend what time a can on it.
NaNo is a great idea. The sense of community that I have discovered in my town is amazing. There are 684 people that have registered in my city and all of them have been great. The mIRC chat room that they set up is a great way to waste time, and there are weekly emails from a number of the members. They are also doing weekly Write-In’s where everybody gets together for food, drink and write. It’s great. I also just like the motivation it gives you. I believe next year will be far more fruitful for me. As will know what to expect and will most likely do some sort of planning and even maybe... just maybe... think about it before the 1st of November.
That is about all I have to say on NaNo for now. I will do a report at the end let everyone know how it goes. If it goes.
So far, all I can say is a little bit of planning goes a long way and... Just keep writing.
*The term study is used very lightly. It was basically just a very small left over room that had a desk, two book cases and everything else that had to be kept and wouldn’t look nice anywhere else.
** It was a Warhammer 40k fan fiction story about Space Marines... Yeah...
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