This month is National Novel Writing Month. Come Join Me!Each November, something magical happens: thousands of people around the world commit far too much of their time to writing complete novels before the month is out. This is a yearly tradition that is equal parts madness, masochism, and amazing. And this year, Fellow GEEK will be taking part. Well, the writers of Fellow GEEK, at least.
The National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it is called, first got started in July of 1999 with just a handful of participants. At that time, it was more of a dare among friends to see who could actually finish their novel. The very next year, however, things stopped being such a joke. The internet decided, and NaNoWriMo is a worldwide writing bash.
NaNoWriMo has been the starting point for several published novels, and not just penny dreadful, either. The award-winning Water for Elephants got its start here, as did the Night Circus. Most people participating aren't joining in with hopes of getting published, however. With only a month, and a focus on wordcount instead of quality, this is a whirlwind tour of the writing craft with a focus on figuring it out as you go.
If you want to get started, NaNoWriMo gives you a useful hint, one that I myself still rely on: start with the first line, then go to the next. See, just getting the very first line out, regardless of quality, helps you shape the rest of the piece. Just get it out there, damn quality, and then get to work on the rest of the novel.
We all know how stories go together. Between movies, television shows and books, we have an inherent grasp of how to tell a story. So you needn't worry; once you begin writing, the story usually falls out. NaNoWriMo calls this a magical moment, I just call it writing.