National Novel Writing Month

Ever since I completed (“won”!) NaNoWriMo in 2009, and really probably ever since I heard about NaNo in the first place, I get the itch to write fiction in November.

I had a vivid dream the other night in which I was teaching a college-level creative writing class. It was a variation on my recurring dream that I’ve registered for college classes and am supposed to be attending but am unaware and unprepared, except in this case, I was the professor. In my dream universe the class was some sort of hybrid of the Fiction Writing class at Gonzaga that I took from Dr. Butterworth, but now taught by me and attended by some of my elementary school classmates. I improvised for the first class, and spent the rest of the dream scrambling to prepare for the rest.

It’s possible that I’ve written more about writing than actually producing the writing itself. Except the 50,000+ words I wrote that November a few years ago do go a long way to tipping the scales in “real writing”’s favor. That year’s project was a young adult novel of sorts that I didn’t exactly finish; I got to about 48,000 words and crammed an ending in that didn’t make much sense. But I did spend a lot of time on character development and I got taken on that amazing writer’s ride where the characters start doing things you don’t expect. It’s hard to explain, really, because of course it’s all coming out of your own mind, but when your fingers are flying across the keyboard and you find your characters going to a location you hadn’t considered until that very moment, or starting a conversation you hadn’t planned, it sure does feel like they have minds of their own.

I don’t have a particular writing goal for this November, but I’m glad I proved, once, that I could be that prolific in a single month.


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