NaNoWriMo: Yeah, I’m Nuts.

You don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? The horror!

NaNoWriMo (I’ll be caalling it “nano” from now on) is short for “National Novel Writing Month” and it’s a really simple, really nutty notion: you sign up for it and try to write a short novel (50000 words) during November. There are no verification systems in place; you could copy paste lorem ipsum until you reached the target word count and the site would list you as one of the “winners” so it all comes down to what the challenge can do for you, not the other way around.

I’ve known about this for a time. Wanted to try last year, but was severely out of writing-shape. Things are different now that I have finally started finishing things. Many things! It’s difficult to believe, and even more difficult to talk about to anyone other than my online friends who share the same interests because what I write is fanfiction. That’s right. Unfinished tales and unspecified events from certain games I love inspire me to write, a lot, and, not that it’s mine, but what I do is decent stuff. Don’t take my word for it.

So this year I decided to take the challenge. Being almost half way there, I’m pretty confident I’ll finish. Of course it’s a rough draft. I’m not used to writing this fast (minimal requirement: about 1700 words per day; for reference, they say Stephen King does 2000), and I’m not used to writing without looking back. My normal process is to write a short or a chapter of a long story, then go through it the next day, or if I can afford it, several days later (a week is ideal; by then, I can almost forget all of it). If I’m satisfied, I pronounce it finished. If not, I let it stew for another day, or another week. Which works really great with short and middle-range things. But it’s a killer with novel-length attempts.

And that is why I decided to do nano this year. To break from the bad habit, to make myself write every day, to make myself write crap if necessary to finish the thing. I can edit, later. Maybe I’ll throw it away. But I’m going to finish.

Right now I’m around the half mark. What I’m writing is, obviously, fanfiction! For Mass Effect. An exploration of how things would have been different if Nihlus Kryik, the turian Spectre, survived Eden Prime. If you’re interested, you can read about the novel (still feels weird calling it that) and track the progress here. The title is “Ghost in the Machine” (kudos if you can tell all the reasons why) and there’s a summary with an excerpt here.

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