If you’re a writer or if you hang around with writers, you have probably heard of NaNoWriMo. It’s National Novel Writing Month, also known as November.
Thousands of writers around the world are signed up to write 50,000 words toward a novel in November. Folks mark their progress every day. There are support groups and group writes and a ton of other writerly things to do and it is oddly fun and inspirational.
Two years ago, my husband and I wrote a novel, “Murder in Wilson Park,” during NaNoWriMo. It was an enormous amount of fun, incredibly challenging, and great to see our finished product. We didn’t do anything with it except publish the chapters here on Red’s Wrap and send PDF’s of the finished product to anyone who asked, but it was still an accomplishment. My old man and I wrote a novel together. Lordy. Who can say that?
This year, I’m writing a bunch of short stories, all taking place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. My husband fires story ideas while we drive along U.S. 2 from Escanaba to the turn north on M-77 to Grand Marais. He has plot lines and characters lined up in his head waiting to find life on paper. It’s an amazing thing, sometimes tiring. I make a list of his story ideas, sometimes downplaying the elaborate backstories he creates for his characters but keeping them in mind nonetheless. He remembered the guy with the canoe carrier on the top of his station wagon made from logs and branches. I’d forgotten about him. But, yeah, he ended up being pretty central to yesterday’s story, “Heartache on Sable Lake.”
It’s early in November. If you’re a writer and you’d like a little extra nudge, check out NaNoWriMo. It’s pressure but pressure is good for a writer. Otherwise, we just sit around and talk about the old days.